Thursday May 19, 2022

Bureau of Reclamation

Reclamation, through coordination with the Flaming Gorge Technical Working Group, has found win-win scenarios to benefit listed fishes, maximize power generation at hydropower facilities, and meet obligations to the Upper Division States and users with the recently announced 500,000 acre-feet of supplemental releases to Lake Powell from Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

In March of this year, Lake Powell elevations fell below 3,525 feet, which is 35 feet above the lowest elevation (3,490 feet) that Reclamation can generate power at Glen Canyon Dam. Current hydrologic and operational models suggest that there is a chance of Lake Powell falling below minimum power pool elevation in the next 2 years if additional water is not released from other Colorado River Storage Project upper reservoirs or additional water is not retained in Lake Powell. The 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan was just approved to address these critically low water levels. This plan was developed by the Upper Division States (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico), Reclamation, and the Upper Colorado River Commission in accordance with the 2019 Drought Response Operations Agreement (DROA), which is a part of the Drought Contingency Plan signed into law in 2019. The 2022 DRO Plan consists of increased releases from Flaming Gorge Dam, potential releases from Blue Mesa and Navajo Dams, and operational adjustments at Glen Canyon Dam.

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