Lake Powell could drop below critical level in next two weeks |

Lake Powell could drop below critical level in next two weeks

Water managers in the Colorado River Basin have tried to keep Lake Powell from falling under 3,525 feet — it’s likely to happen soon.

Chris Outcalt
The Colorado Sun

In the next week or two, the water level at Lake Powell is likely to dip below a key target elevation of 3,525 feet above sea level — a benchmark water managers have long tried to avoid — according to Nick Williams, power manager for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado River Basin.

“I think we’re right at 2 feet above that target elevation,” Williams said. “At the rate we’re dropping we could be there in a week or two.”

In 2019, the Upper Basin and Lower Basin states in the Colorado River Basin signed drought contingency plans to protect the water in the region. Part of the Upper Basin agreement included a Drought Response Operations Agreement, or DROA, which aimed to safeguard critical elevations at Lake Powell. DROA defined the 3,525-foot mark as an important “target elevation” for the reservoir. That target provides a 35-foot buffer above the lowest elevation at which Glen Canyon Dam can generate power, 3,490 feet above sea level.

More than 3 million customers use Glen Canyon Dam electricity and the federal government generates roughly $150 million in average annual revenue from selling that hydropower.

Read the full story via The Colorado Sun.

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