When the drought withers, you can see the boat graveyard on Lake Mead


Boulder City, Nevada (AP) — An abandoned old motorboat sticks upright like a giant tombstone from cracked mud. The inscription may read as follows: Here is the water of Lake Mead.

The largest reservoir in the United States has shrunk to record lows in demand of 40 million people in seven states drying the Colorado River with severe droughts. Megadrought in the western United States is exacerbated by climate change. Wildfire seasons are getting longer, flames are getting more intense, scorching temperatures are breaking records, and lakes are shrinking.

The submergence of Lake Mead National Recreation Area revealed the remains of two skeletons, countless dry fish, and the graveyard of a forgotten and stranded ship.

Houseboats, yachts and motorboats are launched on the beach, creating surrealistic scenes in rugged desert landscapes. The buoy, once marked as a no-boat zone, sits in the soil instead of a drop of water anywhere in sight. Even World War II sunken ships that once surveyed lakes emerged from declining waters.

Nature did not create this quiet water paradise for fishing, camping and kayaking. The powerful Colorado River, which separates Nevada and Arizona, ran under the walls of the Black Canyon until the Hoover Dam was built in 1935 for irrigation, flood control, and hydropower.

Currently, the reservoir is less than 30 percent of its capacity. Since reaching its highest water mark in 1983, its water level has dropped 170 feet (52 meters), and bright white mineral deposits on the walls of the brown canyon approaching as it passes through a motorboat at the height of a 15-story building. There are things left.

Most boat ramps have gates and the marina dock has moved deeper into the water. The 2002 water level sign is not considered to be on the road down to the slip of a boat in the distance.

Lower water levels affect not only cities that depend on future water sources, but also boaters who have to navigate shallow waters and avoid underwater islands and sandbars before they emerge.

Craig Millar was driving a car in a houseboat last month when the engine stopped and floated on the shore. Within a few days, the deep water in his knees where his boat stopped was gone.

“It’s amazing how fast the water went down. I was a landlocked country,” Miller said.

He bought a pump and dredged the sand around the boat to create a waterway to the water, but he couldn’t get past the retreating waters. Towing from the shallows was initially estimated at $ 4,000, but when he was towed, he swelled to $ 20,000 in rescue work.

Miller spent three weeks on a beach boat, most of which was submerged in water to keep him cool in the three-digit heat. Dave Sparks, a social media personality known as Heavy D, watched a video about Miller’s plight the day before a park ranger told him he had to unload the boat from the sand to pull the boat with the crew. Tow from the coast to the marina that appeared in.

Others flocked to a dry lake bed for a selfie, either in a haunted landscape or against the backdrop of what looks like a giant ring around the tub.

The bottom of a dry lake looks like shattered glass, the crevices expand in the hot sun, and the mud fades from brown to beige.

A small school of dead fish supports the tail and is arranged in a circle.

As the sun sets west of Las Vegas, the light illuminates a translucent hollow body and an empty orbit of a fish. Your mouth is open as if you were trying to breathe.