I sent Lissa a picture from the Arizona side overlook of Hoover Dam this evening. Her response: “You can almost see its feet.”
I drove out from Las Vegas to see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam this evening after a two-day Colorado River law and policy conference in a windowless hotel meeting room. Speaker after speaker – mostly water managers – laid out the difficulties they face in managing the system in the unprecedented drought we now face. But they were mostly encouraging in answering the basic questions that animate my work on water: Who will actually come up short? Who will run out?
The answers – and I believe them – are that things are getting tighter, but that there’s enough flexibility in the water management system currently to keep the cities and farm communities that depend on the river intact. These people have some really hard work ahead of them to keep it that way, but you can see a path that keeps it possible.
But it’s hard to disentangle that from the visceral shock of seeing Lake Mead lower every time I return.
I went out to Boulder Harbor, which is the closest public boat ramp to Henderson and has in the past been popular with the locals. I expected it to be closed, but the National Park Service has extended the boat ramp and done some dredging, and there’s a narrow channel out to the lake. It was nearly 6 p.m. on a hot Friday evening, and the place was jumpin’. Life goes on, I guess: