Lake Mead, NV

Landsat satellite data, acquired and processed by the U.S. Geological Survey, illustrate the effects of water demands and upstream drought on Lake Mead in Nevada. Lake Mead is the largest water reservoir in the United States and provides water and, through dam turbines, power for Nevada, southern California, and northern Mexico.

Human water consumption needs have grown with the increased population and irrigation development in the region. Additionally, the area has had over a decade of drought conditions. Water supply has been further diminished by the drawing off of water from upstream reservoirs in the upper Colorado River Basin which, historically, has been the source for the Lake Mead Reservoir. Federal and state water managers use the Landsat imagery, combined with water gage measurements and aerial photography, to monitor the levels and conditions of the reservoir.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010