Lake Mead is located at the junction of Arizona and Nevada, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Las Vegas. It is formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and is the largest artificial lake and reservoir in the United States. The reservoir holds approximately 38 billion cubic meters of water and supplies water to Southern California and Nevada communities.
Established in 1936, Lake Mead National Recreation Area covers an area of 6,055 square kilometers (2,338 square miles) and extends 386 kilometers (240 miles) along the Colorado River. The recreation area includes Lake Mohave and part of the Hualapai Indian Reservation.
The construction of the Hoover Dam resulted in the emigration of several communities in the reservoir area, notably St. Thomas, Nevada, Nevada, whose last residents permanently left their hometowns in 1938. Remnants of it are still visible today when the water level in Lake Mead was low.
Size And Description of Lake Mead
The lake is named after Elwood Mead, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner who created the Boulder Canyon Project from 1924 to 1936. The project included the construction of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. 75% of Lake Mead's water supply is used for agricultural irrigation.
Lake Mead is a huge freshwater lake in the middle of the desert. Climate change and persistent drought have diverted the Colorado River upstream and increased water demand downstream, leaving the lake drying up and at risk of desertification. In 2022, a severe drought in the western United States will cause the water level of Lake Mead to drop sharply, jeopardizing agricultural irrigation and the lives of residents. As the reservoir dries up, multiple bodies hidden at the bottom of the lake gradually emerge, which may reveal the truth of multiple murders.
Lake Mead Size
Lake Mead is one of the largest constructed lakes in the world. The lake extends 185 km (115 miles) upstream, is from 1.6 to 16 km (1 to 10 miles) wide, and has a capacity of 38 billion cubic meters (31,047,000 acre-feet) with 885 km (550 miles) of shoreline and a surface area of 593 square kilometers (229 square miles).
|Max. length||185 km (115 mi)|
|Max. width||16 km (10 mi)|
|Surface elevation||0.3 m (1 ft)|
|Surface area||593 sq km (229 sq mi)|
|Shore length||885 km (550 mi)|
|Water aolume||38 billion cubic m (31,047,000 acre-ft)|
Water level Change
Lake Mead supplies drinking water for about 25 million people. Since 1999 an extended drought and increasing water demands brought about by population growth have caused an unprecedented drop in lake levels. In 2022, the water levels reached a historic low of only about 318 meters (1,043.82 feet), and the reservoir's low-level pumps, constructed in 2020 in preparation for worsening drought conditions, were turned on for the first time. Because of low water levels, many boat ramps were closed or limited to small shallow-hull vessels. If the water level drops below 895 feet, Lake Mead will reach a "dead pool," meaning the water level is too low to flow to the dam, with potentially catastrophic consequences for millions of people.
The mighty Colorado River feeds two lakes, Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area was established in 1964 and served year-round. The area covers over 607,000 hectares, approximately 526,000 hectares of land, and 81,000 hectares of water and is accessible from nine main entrances. Upon arrival, you can take a Mississippi-style paddle steamer through the Boulder Basin, or visitors can hike horseback and drive.
The leisure area has developed various leisure projects, including boating, fishing, water skiing, swimming, sunbathing, etc. At the same time, the peculiar landforms such as rocky cliffs and beaches on the lake shore have also become adventure parks. Many small and medium islands are in the center of the lake, some of which have even created small botanical gardens. Lake Mead is undoubtedly the main attraction, and along the many hiking trails, one can admire the park's dramatic exposed geology and a surprising amount of flora and fauna.
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a stark contrast between desert and water, mountains and canyons, pristine wilderness, and bustling marinas. Here, the Colorado River flows along the Arizona-Nevada border through one of Earth's hottest and driest regions. Hoover Dam helped shape this beautiful oasis, while Lake Mead became a famous travel destination and an energy source for the American West.