Monday, September 05, 2011

Tunneling under Lake Mead

Las Vegas is digging a 1,500 foot long tunnel, 600 feet below ground through bedrock to suck water from Lake Mead, in case the lake level drops too low for the existing intake to draw water. "Intake No. 3 will maintain SNWA's ability to draw upon Colorado River water at lake elevations as low as 1,000 feet above sea level, assuring system capacity if lake levels fell low enough to put Intake No. 1 out of service." [right, Intake 3 tunnel. Credit, SNWA]

The starter tunnel is complete, ready for the boring machine to be lowered into it for assembly. An earlier starter tunnel was abandoned after it hit a fault zone and unstable rock.
SNWA has a short video explaining the project.


  1. State Fossil7:34 AM

    Get every drop you can, Las Vegas. You've got to keep those big fountains in front of the casinos operating.

  2. Anonymous9:47 AM

    When the heck did Lake Mead become Nevada's water storage reservior?

  3. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Seems that maybe it's time to reevaluate priorities....drinking water? household water? SMALL lawns? Parks? Golf Courses? Fountains? Where should be the line be drawn to avoid some of the problems in Southern California where lakes have literally been pumped dry, once fertile farmground is now desert, etc.?

  4. Anonymous10:11 PM

    I do not understand why the drilling because according to facts the Lake would never go dry because according to the geography as outlined Drought and water usage issues- Lake Mead receives the majority of its water from snow melt in the Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah Rocky Mountains. Inflows to the lake are largely moderated by the upstream Glen Canyon Dam, which is required to release 8.23 million acre feet (10.15 km3) of water each year to Lake Mead. Hoover Dam is required to release 9 million acre feet (11 km3) of water each year, with the difference made up by tributaries that join the Colorado below Glen Canyon or flow into Lake Mead. Outflow, which includes evaporation and delivery to Arizona, California, Nevada, and Mexico[6] from Lake Mead are generally in the range of 9.5 to 9.7 million acre feet (11.7 to 12.0 km3), resulting in a net annual deficit of about 1.2 million acre feet. So My question is there must be something as an alternative motive