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June 24, 2019

Lake Mead Water Level Forecasts

Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry (Photo credit: Gonzo fan2007 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.)

The Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) reductions along with an unusually wet winter in the Colorado River Basin from stem to stern have been factored into the forecasts for Lake Mead this season. According to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) now expects a, "projected water level of almost 1,086 feet above sea level by the end of December...about a foot higher than hydrologists were predicting a month ago.”

Almost all of the increase is due to projected cuts under the DCP. Cuts equal 192,000 acre-feet for Arizona and 8,000 acre-feet for Nevada in the coming year.

USBR expects Colorado River streamflow to swell to 144% of average during July and are confident that the river won’t be in shortage until at least 2021.

The demarcation point for the Upper and Lower basin is Lee’s Ferry, Arizona just downriver from Glen Canyon Dam.