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State of Emergency at Lake Powell: Fears of Hydroelectric and Water Shutoffs Mount

Posted By: SpaceCommando
Date: Monday, 19-Jul-2021 17:25:29
www.rumormill.news/177280

Lake Powell is getting an emergency release of water from upstream reservoirs. Water levels have approached a critical level.

Posted on Mishtalk.com - July 18, 2021

Water levels in Lake Powell are at record lows. If levels drop much further, hydroelectric turbines will cease to run.

The lake supplies water to 30 million people and irrigation of 5 million acres.

Emergency Declared

Gizmodo reports Officials Pull ‘Emergency Lever’ as Lake Powell Plunges Toward Dangerous New Low.

The Bureau of Reclamation began emergency water releases from reservoirs upstream in the Colorado River this week in an effort to keep Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, full enough to continue to generate hydroelectric power.

The reservoir is projected to hit a critical new low of (1,075 meters) by April 2022, just 25 feet (7.6 meters) above the level at which hydropower can no longer be generated. The Bureau of Reclamation said the emergency releases from reservoirs upstream—which includes the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming, the Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado, and the Navajo Reservoir in New Mexico—will continue until December and could last into next year.

The low water levels in Lake Powell aren’t just a problem for the industries and cities that rely on the water in the reservoir. It’s also an issue for the Glen Canyon Dam, a 1,320-megawatt hydroelectric power plant that produces electricity distributed to customers in seven different states. The Bureau of Reclamation said the releases from Flaming Gorge, which will start this month, will increase the water level 50 cubic feet (1.4 cubic meters) per second every day, and will last until July 23.

Glen Canyon Dam isn’t the only hydropower plant facing trouble with the West’s megadrought. The water level at Lake Oroville, California’s largest reservoir, has dipped so low this summer during the state’s searing heat that officials say they may have to shut off the hydropower plant there.

Lake Mead, another large reservoir downstream on the river, fell to its lowest levels in history in June. Officials are planning to declare water shortage conditions in August that would trigger water-saving measures in surrounding states. If the water levels fall below 3,525 feet in Lake Powell it could “potentially lead to seven-state litigation, which we’ve never seen before on [the] Colorado River,” Amy Ostdiek, deputy section chief of the federal, interstate and water information section of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, told Colorado Public Radio. “Which would create a lot of uncertainty. It would probably be a very long, drawn out process.”

Cascading Emergency

Think of Lake Mead and Lake Powell as one big reservoir separated by the Grand Canyon. Both are on the Colorado River.

Lake Mead is endangered but Lake Powell cannot help because it's endangered too.

Lake Powell needs help from further upstream reservoirs. But what are the upstream reservoirs going to do?

Lake Powell is Doomed

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Lake Powell could become a ‘dead pool’ as climate change, political wars and unabated growth drain its waters . . .

[SNIP]

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