weather icon Clear

Conservation efforts aid reservoir

Colorado River water operations will remain the same for Southern Nevadans next year despite Lake Mead being below the level needed to stay out of the drought contingency plan.

“In 2021, we will be operating the same as this year,” said Patricia Aaron, public affairs officer for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. “Nevada’s drought contingency plan water savings contributions will be the same as this year. As always, we encourage as much water conservation as possible by residents.”

Recently, the Bureau of Reclamation released its August 2020 24-month study that includes the operating conditions for 2021. According to it, Lake Mead’s elevation is expected to be 1,085.28 feet as of Jan. 1, which is about 5 feet less than a year ago. Currently, it is at 1,083.82 feet.

The reason for the normal operations is because Southern Nevada has already conserved enough water to cover reductions agreed to under a 2019 agreement for the Colorado River, Southern Nevada Water Authority spokesman Bronson Mack said.

“We already did that heavy lift,” he said.

The wetter winter is also helping the water level in the lake’s reservoirs.

“After a promising start to the snow season last winter, spring and summer turned very dry,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “Thankfully, our reservoirs continue to do what they were built to do and are providing reliable water by holding it over from wetter years.”

According to the Bureau, since Lake Mead is projected to begin the year below the drought elevation threshold of 1,090 feet, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will need to continue to make water savings contributions to the lake in 2021. Seven basin states, the U.S. federal government and Mexico entered into the agreement in 2019 in order to reduce risk in the basin.

Operations for Lake Mead National Recreation Area also will not be affected by the bureau’s report.

“Based on the Bureau of Reclamation’s projections for Lake Mead for the next two years, elevations will be similar to what we saw this year, meaning recreation will continue to be outstanding in 2021 and 2022,” said Christie Vanover, public affairs officer for the park.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Reporter Blake Apgar contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
City offers prizes for vaccines

Boulder City is incorporating several new things to help more people in town get vaccinated against COVID-19 — cash, prizes and mobile clinics.

Train museum director to retire

Changes are coming to the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum.

Mask up; new directive for indoors spaces starts Friday

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak imposed a new mandate Tuesday, July 27, that requires everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors in public places in counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission, including Clark County.

Lake Powell hits historic low

Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, reached its lowest water level on record this weekend, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Masks are back for some

Employees in Boulder City and the rest of Clark County will have to wear masks in public indoor places regardless of their vaccination status according to a new mandate.

Tokyo bound: Lagan confident about competing in Olympics

Alexis “Lexi” Lagan of Boulder City is confident about competing at the Olympics in a few days despite having to train with a broken ankle.

Coalition urges protection for shrinking Colorado River

A group that included environmentalists, elected leaders and officials from business and agriculture gathered July 15 to put forth a slate of demands for a new approach to managing the Colorado River.

Freedman named state museums administrator

Myron Freedman has been named administrator of the Nevada Division of Museums and History, overseeing the state’s seven museums. The director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs made it official in June after consulting with the Board of Museums and History.