Lake Powell water levels to be propped up by upstream reservoirs

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Federal officials volition merchandise other h2o from Colorado River strategy reservoirs this twelvemonth to prop up the declining h2o levels successful Lake Powell, protecting the reservoir from reaching a level that would forestall the Glen Canyon Dam from generating electricity.

The move, announced Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, underscores the dire consequences of a two-decade drought that has plagued the Colorado River, a captious h2o root for 40 cardinal radical successful 7 states and Mexico.

Projections released by the bureau past week showed a 79 percent accidental that Lake Powell’s h2o level volition autumn beneath an elevation of 3,525 feet wrong the adjacent year, according to a quality release.

That elevation is important due to the fact that it provides a 35-foot buffer from the minimum h2o level that allows the Glen Canyon Dam, a large powerfulness root for the West, to make electricity.

By the extremity of the year, an other 181,000 acre-feet of h2o — astir 60 cardinal gallons — volition beryllium released from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Blue Mesa Reservoir and Navajo Reservoir to prop up Lake Powell’s h2o level by astir 3 feet.

The bureau said the accrued releases from the reservoirs to Lake Powell volition not impact however overmuch h2o is released to Lake Mead, which is nearing its archetypal federally declared h2o shortage. A national h2o shortage declaration would unit a chopped successful Nevada’s allocation of h2o from Lake Mead adjacent year.

This is simply a processing story. Check backmost for updates.

Contact Blake Apgar astatine oregon 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar connected Twitter.

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