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How the Lake Mead Water Facility ensures water is accessible to Nevada residents

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 18:16:00-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The water facility at Lake Mead was created as a buffer just in case water levels at Lake Mead continued to drop.

On Wednesday, the plant had to get rid of the dissipaters which would normally artificially control how much water was dispersed from Lake Mead and the Colorado River. The levels have gotten so low now that they no longer require the buffer of the dissipaters.

The stainless-steel slab weighs around 1,100 pounds and was intended to help when lake levels hit dire numbers.

MORE: New Lake Mead water pumping system to mitigate Southern Nevada water crisis

"The facility was built with the idea that if lake levels continued to drop and we get to dead pool, which means water can no longer pass through the Hoover Dam, then Nevada residents can still be able to get a water supply," said Doa Ross, the general manager for engineering.

In conjunction with the Southern Nevada Water Authority, facility managers evaluated the water supply to ensure that water was still supplied even when lake levels got low. Lake Mead and the Colorado River supply roughly 90% of water to Southern Nevada residents.

Still, Colby Pellegrino with the water authority says Southern Nevada is one of the "most water secure desert cities in the southwest."

A CLOSER LOOK: Dry as a bone: Las Vegas enforces new water restrictions