[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
30-Jan-2013

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Peter Soeth
psoeth@usbr.gov
303-445-3615
Bureau of Reclamation

Lake Mead aquatic-science research documents substantial improvements in ecosystem

IMAGE: Lakes Mead and Mohave, which are the centerpieces of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, provide many significant benefits that have made the modern development of the Southwestern United States possible....

Click here for more information.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Lake Mead National Recreation Area's water quality is good, the sport fish populations are sufficient, and the lakes provide important habitat for an increasing number of birds. This positive trend is documented in a new report published today that leads to a better understanding of the natural resources of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, and the issues that may affect natural resource management of Lake Mead NRA.

"While the Lake Mead ecosystem is generally healthy and robust, the minor problems documented in the report are all being addressed by the appropriate agencies, and are showing substantial improvement since the mid 1990's," said U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist, Michael Rosen, the lead scientist for the report. "This is thanks to proactive enhancements to wastewater treatment facilities for the Las Vegas Metropolitan area, the installation of wetlands in Las Vegas Wash, and the treatment of legacy pollutants from industrial areas near Las Vegas Wash."

Lake Mead provides significant benefits that have contributed to the modern development of the southwestern United States. The lake provides important aquatic habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including endangered species, and a diversity of world-class water-based recreational opportunities for more than 8 million visitors annually. It supplies critical storage of water supplies for more than 25 million people in three western states (California, Arizona, and Nevada). Storage within Lake Mead supplies drinking water and provides for the generation of hydropower to deliver electricity for major cities including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Tucson, and San Diego. It also provides water for irrigation of more than 2.5 million acres (almost 4000 square miles or more than twice the size of the state of Delaware) of croplands.

Major findings detailed in the report include the following:

###

The report was prepared cooperatively by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Southern Nevada Water Authority, BIO-WEST, University of Nevada, Reno, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The full report, USGS Circular 1381, "A synthesis of aquatic science for management of Lakes Mead and Mohave," is available online.

Note to editors: B-roll available upon request from USGS.

Christie Vanover, NPS 702-293-8691 christie_vanover@nps.gov

JC Davis, SNWA 702-249-6959 jc.davis@lvvwd.com

Dan Balduini, USFWS 702-515-5480 daniel_balduini@fws.gov

Peter Soeth, Reclamation 303-445-3615 psoeth@usbr.gov



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.