Lake Mead is a 1936 finished water reservoir in the Colorado River downstream of the Grand Canyon in the Black Canyon. It is located about 50 kilometers southeast of Las Vegas, at the border of the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada, and is used to generate hydroelectric power and as a reservoir for drinking water supply Southern California and for irrigated agriculture in Arizona, Nevada and California.
Lake Mead is considered the main reservoir in the United States, because of its size and the features that it provides for the western United States.
With a length of 170 km and a depth of up to 149 m, an area of 640 km ² and a storage capacity of up to 34.9 Bcf it is the largest man-made lake in the United States. He is dammed by the Hoover Dam, because of their construction several communities had to be abandoned and evacuated, including the town of St. Thomas in Nevada, whose ruins can be seen at low water level of Lake Mead yet.
It is named after the Lake Mead Elwood Mead, who served as commissioner from 1924 to 1936 in the Bureau of Reclamation, a subdivision of the Ministry of Interior and is responsible for the Boulder Canyon Project drew, which led to the construction of the Hoover Dam.
Studies of the area in 2012 classified the water quality of Lake Mead as a good role as a habitat for endangered species as important and of the stock of Angel fish than adequate. In the 1990s, threats to water quality were identified by inadequate sewage treatment plants of the rapidly growing city of Las Vegas and chemical stresses which emanated from industrial firms in the region. Since then, the city government, the State of Nevada and the federal level measures have been taken to reduce the risks in cooperation between different authorities. In a report by the United States Geological Survey of 2013, the safeguards have been described as significant improvement in the situation. Thus, the wastewater treatment plants of Las Vegas were expanded and rehabilitated in Vegas Wash, only a seasonal water inlet leading to the lake, wetlands. Today, the industry of the region initiates no more pollutants into the tributaries of the lakes, consequences in the form of contaminated soils by past operations are restored.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is located in the center of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a recreational and nature conservation area under the administration of U.S. federal agency National Park Service. For area includes the Lake Mohave on the Colorado below the Lake Mead, as well as larger sections of the three deserts Mojave Desert, Great Basin and Sonoran Desert, which pass around the Lake Mead each other.
Lake Mead is both recreational area for the residents of Las Vegas as a destination on regional tourists and in 2011 was on the fourth place of the daily attendance in all recreational and protected areas under federal or 6th place, although the scale of recreation leisure roads are included.
The most important use of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area consists of boat trips from commercial suppliers on rented motor boats for short trips or rental of houseboats with overnight on the water. Addition, there are fishing and swimming, and hiking in the surrounding deserts.
The park is mainly set for daily visitors, therefore, there is apart from the houseboats and several campsites no accommodation in the park itself and very few in the immediate area.
The proximity to Las Vegas achieve the educational opportunities of the park rangers, many schools, especially primary schools. The children are taught in short lectures and excursions plants and animals, ecological relationships and fundamentals of nature conservation.