Aug 8, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Human remains found at drought-hit Lake Mead for 4th time since May

The first ever "straw" is put into Lake Mead to bring water to Las Vegas, is shown on July 28, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada.
A depleted Lake Mead in July, at the old Basic Management Inc. intake pipe on Saddle Island, the first "straw" put into the reservoir to take water to Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

National Park Service rangers found more human remains at the drought-hit Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the east of Las Vegas over the weekend.

Why it matters: It's fourth such discovery in the nation's largest reservoir by volume since May as a megadrought sinks Lake Mead's water levels to the lowest since 1937, per AP.

Details: "National Park Service rangers received an emergency call reporting the discovery of human skeletal remains at Swim Beach in Lake Mead National Recreation Area," Nevada, on Saturday morning, according to an NPS statement.

  • Park rangers worked to recover the remains with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's dive team, the NPS said.
  • The Clark County Medical Examiner is investigating the cause of death.

Driving the news: The Southwest is in the grip of a megadrought lasting more than two decades and studies show it's more severe than any in at least 1,200 years. It is being driven in large part by climate change, Axios' Andrew Freedman notes.

The big picture: Lake Mead spans Nevada and Arizona and is part of the vast Colorado River basin that provides water for agriculture and human consumption to seven states, while also generating electricity at the massive Hoover Dam.

Go deeper: New Colorado River drought discovery shows how bad things can get

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