Lake Mead to rise one foot by Sunday after federal ‘high flow’ water release

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 11:45 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Lake Mead will be one foot higher by the end of the week after the release of water from Glen Canyon into the Colorado River.

The “High Flow Experiment” and its gushing water will ultimately decrease Lake Powell levels by 4.5 feet from April 24 to April 27. The water will flow down the Colorado River system and eventually hit Pearce Ferry by April 26, and more water will flow into Lake Mead from April 26 to April 30.

According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Lake Mead will rise from 1,047 feet on Monday to 1,048 feet by Sunday. By the end of May, Lake Mead will reach 1,051 feet.

The last time the feds utilized the high-flow experiment was back in 2018. The water flows will not add any more water to Lake Mead than otherwise scheduled for 2023, according to the feds.

The ultimate goal of this high-flow experiment is to move sand and sediment along the Colorado River.

“The idea is to kind of mitigate that sand loss, and keep things close to the way they were before the dam,” said Bob Tusso, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist.

Sandbars are important, according to the feds: they are places for people to camp, fish, and also protect important archaeological sites throughout the Grand Canyon and across the Colorado River.

“In a general, larger picture, it’s a national park, and the way the river was before the dam came in has changed a lot,” Tusso said.