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Author Topic: This may change things on the north end next winter  (Read 1796 times)

Offline Ouzel

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Flaming Gorge level set to drop

CASPER — The Southwest is turning to upstream reservoirs as the water level in Lake Powell continues to fall.

Regulators plan to release an extra 500,000 acre-feet of water from Wyoming’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir between May of this year and April of next year to prevent Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River that’s a major source of both water and electricity, from becoming so depleted that it stops generating hydropower.

Prolonged drought and high temperatures fueled by climate change have shrunk the water level in Lake Powell, which sits on both sides of the Utah-Arizona border, to about one-quarter of capacity. The first-ever planned effort to ease the effects of drought at the reservoir comes less than a year after regulators announced an emergency release of 125,000 acre-feet from Flaming Gorge — about 4 feet in elevation loss — last summer.

If approved by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the additional release is expected to lower the water level at Flaming Gorge by 10 feet from its current elevation — including a 6-foot drop by August — and by about 15 feet compared with the estimated water level without any drought response.

Historically, there’s been less demand for water from Flaming Gorge than other upper-basin reservoirs. The lower demand kept its water level high, which kept it popular for recreation.


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