Lake Mead drought allows divers to explore World War II wreckage

Drought is depleting the famed lake, but some are enjoying the effects

Images show Lake Mead in 2007 and again in 2015.
Images show Lake Mead in 2007 and again in 2015.

We reported earlier this year that Lake Mead - the largest reservoir in the US - had reached its lowest water level in history, amid a historic drought in the western US.

But it is not all bad news for the lake that serves as a watering hole for some 40 million people.

See, the water level has fallen so low that scuba divers are now more easily able to access the wreckage of a B-29 bomber that crashed in the lake during a secret post-World War II mission, according to a report from NPR.

The possibility of compromised drinking water for more than 10 per cent of the US population doesn't seem so bad when adventurers are having fun with it. Note, the skeletons in the photo below are not real.

In late April, the surface level of Lake Mead – which was created by the iconic Hoover Dam – dropped below 1,080 feet, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation. The surface level when the reservoir is at maximum capacity is 1,221 feet.

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the US when at maximum capacity, but now it is at just 38 per cent of that max. Federal forecasters project that the water level could drop as low as 1,073 feet above sea level later this year.

Should that level persist into the start of 2016, it would prompt a shortage declaration which would require states that pull water from the lake to cut back on usage. Those states include Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Follow @PaytonGuion on Twitter.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in