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Is this the death of Lake Powell?

Tribune Lake Powell August 2022.jpg
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune)
A boat tows a water skier below the "bathtub rings" in Glen Canyon Recreation Area, on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Barring massive changes to the way the west uses water, the massive reservoir on the Colorado River appears to be headed toward a calamity.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported this week that Lake Powell is now only 26 % full, with only two boat ramps still open after extensions were added to them to reach the water.

According to the Tribune, the reservoir is getting perilously close to the level at which it won’t be able to produce hydroelectric power any longer. That could result in an increase in power rates for the Navajo Nation, and also threaten environmental programs such as those that support endangered fish.

Electrical production has already been reduced at Lake Powell, but the Federal Bureau of Reclamation said this summer that it might intervene if the states that rely on the area for water don’t voluntarily cut Colorado River water use by 30 %.

After years of projecting a recovery for Lake Powell, the level of alarm shown by the federal government reached new heights this year, with Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton repeatedly stating that the system is “approaching a tipping point.”

Find the full report here.