Monday July 18, 2022


Lake Powell, the second-largest human-made reservoir in the US, has lost nearly 7% of its potential storage capacity since 1963, when Glen Canyon Dam was built, a new report shows.

In addition to water loss due to an intense multiyear drought, the US Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation report found, Lake Powell faced an average annual loss in storage capacity of about 33,270 acre-feet, or 11 billion gallons, per year between 1963 and 2018.That’s enough water to fill the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall about 1,600 times.

The capacity of the reservoir is shrinking because of sediments flowing in from the Colorado and San Juan rivers, according to the report. Those sediments settle at the bottom of the reservoir and decrease the total amount of water the reservoir can hold.

As of Monday, Lake Powell was around 25% full, according to data from the Bureau of Reclamation.

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