Lake Mead, particularly its Boulder Basin, is one of the most intensively monitored reservoirs in the United States. With its importance to societal needs and ecosystem benefits, interest in water quality and water resources of Lake Mead will remain high. A number of agencies have authorities and management interests in Lake Mead and maintain individual agency monitoring programs. These programs were enhanced on an interagency basis from 2004 to 2012 to facilitate intensive monitoring in all major basins of the lake. Recognition that increasing stressors and influences in individual basins can affect water quality throughout Lake Mead and gave rise to an even stronger effort towards the development of holistic and effective interagency approaches. In 2010, agency monitoring programs were used to develop a management plan for water-dependent resources at Lake Mead National Recreation Area (LMNRA). The Long-Term Limnological and Aquatic Resource Monitoring and Research Plan for Lakes Mead and Mohave (the Plan; National Park Service, 2010) documented key management questions to be addressed through monitoring and research, and identified interagency strategic objectives for water quality and water-dependent resources. Moreover, the Plan provides a framework for summarizing water quality and water resource information in five resource categories: water quality and limnology; fish and aquatic biota; sediments; birds; and riparian vegetation. The Plan also addresses three stressors to lake resources: contaminants, invasive species, and climate change. For each of these topics, the current (2012) state of knowledge is summarized for LMNRA (table 7-1), including key scientific questions and findings, management implications, and information needs. A more detailed discussion for each topic follows.
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USGS Numbered Series
Management implications of the science: Chapter 7 in A synthesis of aquatic science for management of Lakes Mead and Mohave