5 things to know about Lake Mead and its current water level problem

Posted at 3:13 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 15:37:25-04

The lake that stores water for parts of multiple states and Mexico has reached a record low, and officials say long-term, this may be problematic.

Lake Mead reached the low on Tuesday, June 23. Officials said that while rains will stave off shortage in 2016, it is still critically low.

1. The record low reached 1,074.98 feet above sea level.

2. Some areas dependent on the reservoir are offering residents incentives to take water-saving measures, including lawn removal.

3. The lake level is expected to rise to 1,081 feet above sea level by the year's end. It has not reached full capacity — 1,221 feet above sea level — since the early 1980s. This is because of high demand for water and the drought.

4. The point at which water supplies to Arizona and Nevada must take a percentage cut is 1,075 feet above sea level.

5. Lake Mead, named for Elwood Mead, a former U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, is the largest reservoir in the United States. It is on the Colorado River about 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The lake was formed by the Hoover Dam.