Friday, May 02, 2008

Lake Mead Bathtub Ring

(Boulder City, NV)- Been to Hoover Dam lately? It's always a spectacle to see, but as this protracted drought continues, the West's misguided water policy becomes highly visible- in the form of a "bathtub ring". It's a marking along the walls of the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, showing where the water levels once peaked.

Here are some of my pics. The first two are taken from the sidewalk on the upstream side of the Dam.
I estimate the water level to be down 50-60 feet. Note the vehicles parked beyond the Arizona water intake, for perspective.
Lake Mead / Colorado River. What? There's a drought? In the desert?!?

I was with Steve Wainstead, who turned me on to the enlightening and enfuriating book, "Cadillac Desert", which chronicles the water policies of the West. I highly recommend it to anyone who believes that only business pollutes or rapes the earth, while the government is a steward of the land. Not to say that business doesn't or hasn't caused environmental problems, but a reading of Cadillac Desert, and a trip to Hoover Dam, shows that no business can rape the earth on the scale a government can.

Standing in Las Vegas Bay- a tributary flowing to Lake Mead. I'm standing in the river bed, about 8' below the old water level, with another 10' or so below to the current water level. The boaters simply use other sites... for now.

1 comment:

varangianguard said...

If I remember correctly, the "high water" mark shows where the upper limit of the initial stress test's water level was. The dam's usual level was always somewhere well below that point.