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Lake Mead water level drops close to its lowest point

Lake Mead is very close to a record low water level 5/17/2016 [Denise Rosch KSNV]

Lake Mead is less than a foot of dropping to its lowest point in history.

Stefano Fasano says he's been coming to Lake Mead for nearly 20 years and understands the water level is down. Fasano said even launching a boat has changed, but he's an optimist pointing out there's still a lot of lake left.

"They do a pretty good job marking things. I know where to go, I've been coming here my whole life, I know what to look for, for sure," said Fasano.

Still that ever present bathtub ring continues to grow.

Lake Mead is 155 feet down from what's considered "full pool." What does that mean for our thirsty valley?

The Southern Nevada Water Authority says it's not the time to panic.

"Lake Mead has now dropped below elevation 1075," said Bronson Mack with the Southern Nevada Water Authority. "Lake Mead and Lake Powell are doing exactly what they're supposed to do, storing water in wet years so it's available in dry years."

Mack says between work on the third intake and aggressive water conservation, the valley is in a good position to weather the storm.

Water usage, Mack points out is down 40% since the drought began.

"We definitely anticipate lake levels in Mead will continue to decline for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, SNWA along with California and Arizona has a solid partnership to allow us to manage water demands," said Mack.

One change that is coming are many homeowners are now voluntarily turning off their sprinklers on Sundays. SNWA said to expect that to become mandatory next year.

As for Fasano, he knows water levels fluctuate and having fun at Lake Mead, though, remains constant. "There's plenty of water for the boat for sure," said Fasano.

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For more information about water levels and what you can do to conserve, visit the Southern Nevada Water Authority website.

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