More human remains found at Lake Mead as reservoir's water level plunges

National Park Service rangers responded to a call on Saturday afternoon that reported the remains in Callville Bay. The Clark County Medical Examiner is assisting with determining the cause of death, according to NPS, which said there is “no further information is available at this time.”

It was the second set of human remains found at Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir, as water levels plunge. The first body, discovered on May 1, was likely a murder victim who died from a gunshot wound “some time in the mid ’70s to early ’80s, based on clothing and footwear the victim was found with,” according to a new released from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

“The lake has drained dramatically over the last 15 years,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer said at the time, noting “it’s likely that we will find additional bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead” as the water level drops more.

About 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico rely on Lake Mead water, which has been running out at an alarming rate amid a climate change-fueled megadrought.
As of Monday the lake’s water level was around 1,052 feet above sea level — roughly 162 feet below its 2000 level, when it was last considered full. It’s the lowest level on record for the reservoir since it was filled in the 1930s.

In August, the federal government declared an unprecedented water shortage on the Colorado River, which feeds the reservoir, triggering water consumption cuts for states in the Southwest beginning in January.

In late April, the lake’s low water level also exposed one of the reservoir’s original water intake valves for the first time. The valve had been in service since 1971, but it can no longer draw water, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the agency responsible for managing water resources for 2.2 million people in southern Nevada, including Las Vegas.