Erika Moonin, the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s engineering project manager for construction of the agency’s new Lake Mead intakes, showed me a picture yesterday of water pouring over Hoover Dam’s spillways in 1983, the last time the reservoir spilled. When she was a youngster, her dad took her out to see the spectacle. Looking at it today, it’s hard to imagine. Current lake level is 137 feet below the 1983 peak.
I was trying to take pictures earlier this week that might illustrate the big empty. Here’s what the spillway looks like today:
* I didn’t actually see cobwebs. It’s literary license.
** It also “filled and spilled” in the late 1990s, but didn’t rise to the level of needing spillways, just moved excess water above and beyond downstream water users’s needs through the dam’s normal release system.