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Rain helps Lake Mead rise — 3 inches

Updated August 1, 2022 - 6:55 pm

With monsoon rains four out of the last five days in the Las Vegas area, there is at least one plus — Lake Mead has risen 3 inches.

At 7 p.m. Sunday the top of the lake was 1,040.99 feet above sea level at Hoover Dam. Five days ago, July 26, the lake measured at 1,040.75 feet.

The rainfall certainly helped place at least a bit of water back in the resource that supplies 90 percent of Southern Nevada’s water.

Southern Nevada Water District spokesman Bronson Mack said Monday that rain runoff may have contributed “about four-tenths of an inch” to the lake.

Another factor could be the 7 million acre feet released earlier this spring from Lake Powell has been arriving in Lake Mead, slowing a precipitous decline this spring that had the lake falling several inches a day, including a drop of just over 7 feet during May.

One year ago the lake was at 1,067.71 feet. Two years ago it was at 1,084.65 feet. The nation’s largest reservoir is 27 percent filled to capacity.

Bureau of Reclamation projections show the lake falling at least another 20 feet before the end of 2022.

Entities that use the lake are attempting to agree on water use reductions of 2 to 4 million acre feet by Aug. 15.

Federal officials have said that if local water users can’t agree on cutbacks that the government will mandate reductions to protect the system.

Dead pool at Hoover Dam is 895 feet, the point at which no power can be produced and water cannot go downstream to Arizona and California.

Engineers at the Southern Nevada Water Authority believe the agency’s $1.3 billion low-level pumping station and “third straw” could pump water until the lake would fall to 875 feet.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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