The water level at Lake Mead fell to 1,068 feet in July 2021. This is the lowest level since the lake was first filled after the Hoover Dam was opened in 1935. This month- Ci, the federal government declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering cuts in water allocations to states surrounding the river.
It seems to me that the power of Boulder City could be reduced as well. Currently, Lake Mead is about 140 feet below its 2000 level when considered adequate. Amid the drop in our electricity rates, I wonder if Boulder City Council is considering purchasing 20 megawatts of electricity to replace our source Hoover Dam?
When will Boulder City’s power be reduced? If Lake Mead drops another 175 feet, the water will no longer pass through the Hoover Dam. The water supply for everyone downstream would be reduced. With it, the source of hydroelectric power for residents of California, Nevada and Arizona would be eliminated. At what level of the lake can water no longer efficiently pass through Boulder City’s smallest turbine that generates 20 megawatts of electricity for Boulder City?
There is a bright side to this story. It’s something Boulder City can be proud of. Boulder City is the city that built the Hoover Dam. Boulder City also owns the Eldorado Valley. That’s 167 square miles purchased at a cost to Boulder City of just $ 1.4 million.
Boulder City now makes more than $ 13 million in revenue per year in the valley, reducing the need to raise taxes. In October 1960, the Colorado River Commission (of Nevada) contracted for an engineering report from Montgomery titled Master Plan for the Development of the Eldorado Valley (as an industrial community). He said that a third of the state’s water supply from the Colorado River would be needed to develop the Eldorado Valley. It was 100,000 acre-feet back then.
Boulder City did not receive water when it purchased the Eldorado Valley. The growth-controlled city therefore has the greatest history of water conservation in Nevada history since Boulder City was able to conserve 100,000 acre feet of water by purchasing the Eldorado Valley, thus preventing growth. development of the valley through a purchase by Clark or Henderson County.
One foot-acre equals 325,851 gallons. That’s 32.6 billion gallons of water saved, isn’t it?
Boulder City is also forward thinking as it has one of the largest solar installations in the country in addition to the clean electricity generated at the Hoover Dam. This is Boulder City’s contribution to the fight against global warming.
Why is the city of Boulder City not proud of our city’s history in solving the problems of water scarcity in Nevada as well as global warming of the Earth? For a city of 16,700 citizens, we can be very proud.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of Boulder City Review. They have been edited for grammar, spelling, and style only, and have not been checked for views for accuracy.
Eric Lundgaard is President of the Aquarian Theosophy Foundation and former Mayor of Boulder City.