Water levels could drop as early as next year at one major dam

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There’s a chance that water levels in Lake Powell could drop to the point that by as early as next year, power production at Glen Canyon Dam could come to a stop. That warning comes from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. We talked about it with Sarah Porter of the Kyl center for water policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute.

“There is a better than slight chance of Lake Powell coming to a chance that it could not produce water within the next couple of years based on the modeling of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation,” Porter said.

When the Colorado River is hot and dry, that creates conditions for the ground to soak up water, Porter added.

In terms of hydroelectric power, Porter said it is an extremely serious situation. “The two dams on Lake Powell and Lake Mead provide people out west with electricity,” she said. “They are close enough where the dam’s might not be able to produce enough power. Porter mentioned that immediate steps need to be taken.

Porter said there are opportunities out there to invest in more efficient infrastructure that helps create water conservation. The Kyl center has been working through those opportunities for the past 20 years, she added.

“These new projections are the signals these utilities need to really double down on making sure that there will be electricity as needed if the unthinkable happens,” she said.


Sarah Porter, director of the Ky center for Water Policy at ASU's Morrison institute.

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