Thursday August 4, 2022

E&E News Greenwire

In their pleas to Western states to cut back on water use from the Colorado River Basin, federal officials are keenly focused on keeping Lake Powell’s elevation at 3,490 feet — the minimum needed to keep hydropower humming at Glen Canyon Dam.

But if federal efforts can’t stop the reservoir from shrinking to new lows — its elevation is 3,536 feet as of Monday — the lights going out might not even be the worst problem.

If it dips 60 feet below its current level, the already dwindling Colorado River could trickle down into a fraction of what is expected for states below the dam, a new analysis by conservation groups found.

“Much has been written about minimum hydropower generation level,” explained Zach Frankel, the executive director of the Utah Rivers Council. “But, really, 3,430 is the level at which the Upper Basin will not meet the 7.5-million-acre-foot water obligation of the Law of the River, and that is a big deal.”

Read more >

Link copied successfully