Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Lake Mead, which is currently at its lowest level since April of 1937. The lake is the largest reservoir in the United States, helping to supply water to at least 40 million people.
By August 22, 2021, Lake Mead was standing at just 35 percent of its capacity. Nine Western states surrounding the lake are locked into a megadrought that has lasted for more than two decades.
A smaller supply of water from Lake Mead will be portioned out next year across seven states and northern Mexico as a result of the low lake elevation.
Arizona will receive the biggest cut in water at 512,000 fewer acre-feet, which is approximately 18 percent of the state’s annual ration.
According to NASA, at maximum capacity, Lake Mead reaches an elevation 1,220 feet near the dam and would hold 9.3 trillion gallons of water. The last time the lake came close to full capacity was in the summer of 1999, and the water level has been receding ever since.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory