HomeTechnologyWWII-era ship emerges from shrinking Lake Mead

WWII-era ship emerges from shrinking Lake Mead

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A sunken ship dating back to World War II is the latest object to emerge from a shrinking reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona.

Higgins’ landing craft, which has long been 185 feet (56 meters) below the surface, is now almost halfway out of the water in Lake Mead.

The boat is located less than a mile from Lake Mead Marina and Hemingway Harbor.

It was used to survey the Colorado River decades ago, sold to the navy and then sunk, according to the Las Vegas Scuba dive tour company.

Higgins Industries in New Orleans built several thousand landing craft between 1942 and 1945, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. About 1,500 “Higgins ships” were deployed to Normandy on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day.

The boat is just the latest in a series of objects unearthed by declining water levels in Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the US, held back by the Hoover Dam. In May, two sets of human remains were found within a week.

Experts say climate change and drought have caused the lake to drop to its lowest level since it was filled about 20 years ago.

As water levels drop in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell upriver at the Arizona-Utah line, states in the western US are facing ever-deepening cuts in supply from the Colorado River. Lower levels also affect hydroelectric power produced at Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam, which holds back Lake Powell.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton said last month the agency would take steps to protect the system if the seven Colorado River Basin states don’t quickly find a way to reduce use of up to 4 million acre-feet. of water, more than the share of Arizona and Nevada combined.

One acre-foot equals about 325,850 gallons (about 1.23 million liters). An average home uses one-half to one acre-foot of water per year.

Both states, California and Mexico, have already enacted voluntary and mandatory cuts. Water has been released from some reservoirs in the upper basin (Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah) to shore up Lake Powell.

Farmers use most of the river’s supply.

This story has been corrected to show that Lake Mead straddles the border of Nevada and Arizona.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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