Posted on: August 24, 2022, 06:02h.
Last updated: August 24, 2022, 6:58 AM.
It is one thing to know that a body of water vital to life has a capacity of only 26%. But it’s sobering to see it in real photos, like the satellite images released today by NASA of parts of Lake Powell.
Even more sobering is the fact that the “full” photo is from 2017, when the lake at 3,633 feet was only “almost” full. Today, the water of Lake Powell stands at 3,535 feet. That’s 98 feet lower than in 2017 and 166 feet lower than the height of the “full pool,” measured in June 1980.
In August 2017 (left), the water level on Lake Powell, measured at Glen Canyon Dam, was 3,633 feet. In August 2022, it stands at 3,535 feet, nearly 98 feet lower. (Image: earthobservatory.nasa.gov)
“This is the lowest waterline for Lake Powell since it was filled in 1967, according to NASA. It is so low that it seriously jeopardizes hydroelectric production for seven US states.
Lake Powell is the second largest man-made reservoir in the US after Lake Mead – although Lake Mead has become several times smaller than Lake Powell in water volume, depth and surface area this century. Lake Powell, located largely on Utah’s southeastern border with northeastern Arizona, was created by the Glen Canyon flooding of the Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in 1972.
Lakes Mead and Powell are both part of the Colorado River watershed, which provides water and electricity to 40 million people — most notably in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas — and 4 to 5 million acres of farmland in the United States. the southwest. Lake Powell acts as a storage tank for the outflow of rivers from the states in the Upper Basin (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) to Lake Mead, the storage tank for the states in the Lower Basin (Nevada, Arizona, and California).
Three years of intense drought and two decades of prolonged drought in the American Southwest continue to deplete the levels of both lakes. About 86% of the land area in nine western states was affected by some degree of drought, according to an Aug. 16, 2022 report from the US Drought Monitor.
Hydrologists predict that Lake Powell’s level could drop to 3,522 feet by January 1, 2023. (Based on model projections as of August 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expects total inflow to Lake Powell to be only 62% of the average for the year.) At the same time, on August 22, 2022, water storage at Lake Mead was 28% of capacity. , and the entire Colorado river system only had 34%.
On August 16, 2002, federal water authorities were forced to reduce the allocation of water to the Colorado River in two states. As of 2023, Arizona will receive 21% less and Nevada 8% less.
The current drought in the western U.S. marks the region’s driest 22-year period in 1,200 years, according to a study published in February 2022 in the journal Nature Climate Change.
This post Lake Powell Water Loss Captured in Shocking New Photos
was original published at “https://www.casino.org/news/shocking-new-photos-of-lake-powell-water-loss/”