More human remains were found at Lake Mead, officials said Tuesday, in the latest grim discovery as the country’s largest reservoir has reached historic lows.
The remains found Monday in the Swim Beach area are at least the third set described as skeletal that have been found at Lake Mead since May 1, when the body of someone police think was fatally shot in the 1970s or ’80s was found in a barrel.
In the latest incident, National Park Service rangers responded to a report around 8 p.m. Monday and found the remains, Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials said.
Since May 1, skeletal remains have been found at Lake Mead on May 7, Aug. 6 and Monday.
Other human remains were found at Lake Mead’s Swim Beach on July 25. They were not skeletal, and it was not clear whether dropping water levels played a role in the discovery, a park official said at the time.
A drought gripping the Western U.S. has helped push water levels at Lake Mead to historic lows.
On Tuesday, the Interior Department announced reductions in the amount of water Arizona, Nevada and Mexico can draw from Lake Mead in 2023.
The department in a statement cited a 23-year ongoing drought and historic low runoff conditions in the Colorado River Basin.
Tuesday’s announcement included designating Lake Mead to operate in a Tier-2a shortage. It is the first time the lake has been pushed to that designation.
The prolonged drought and low runoff to the Colorado River are problems being accelerated by climate change, officials said.
This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.