Las Vegas and Lake Mead

Las Vegas and Lake Mead

 

Water is the lifeblood of the western USA, much of it stored in Lake Mead. This vast artificial lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the world and is fed by the Colorado, Muddy and Virgin Rivers. It supplies municipal drinking water and irrigation for agriculture and is also used to produce electricity - the Hoover Dam can be seen as a small white line on the Colorado River just below centre. In recent years the level of the lake has dropped, witnessed by the pale border of the shoreline, due to a drought. The problem is made worse by an ever-increasing demand from nearby Las Vegas (left). The famous casinos use huge quantities of water for the needs of more than 124,000 hotel rooms such as washing, toilets and guest laundry. This image was gathered by the Landsat 7 satellite in April and May 2014 and spans a region about 200km wide.

Julia Barsi (NASA Landsat Project Science Office) and the USGS EROS Data Center

 

Light Works Logo small