Skip to comments.New Photos Show Lake Powell Half Full
Posted on 05/25/2014 9:58:25 AM PDT by ckilmer
The mud-choked Colorado River flows through the dry lakebed of northern Lake Powell in a new satellite image released yesterday (May 22).
Western drought has left this reservoir on the border of Utah and Arizona less than half full, the satellite image captured on May 13 reveals. As of May 21, the lake was at 42 percent of capacity, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) data.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
I think they meant half full.
Didn’t we okay sending a ton of water to Mexico recently?
That Obama... such a smart guy
Whoops! I think they meant half empty.
or half empty...
I just read the other day that they are celebrating that the Colorado river reached the Sea of Cortez for the first time since the 70’s.
Sounds like 58% empty.
They’re as close to 2/3 empty as 1/2 empty, for all intents and purposes.
The last time I visited Lake Powell in 1984 it was in danger of overflowing the top of the dam at Page, AZ
I lived and worked at Hite Marina on the north end of the lake.
The marina is no longer there.
How long before they can no longer make electricity with the dam ?
The same amount of water as 100 years ago, supplying millions more people.
Seems to me it’s not a matter of supply, but one of demand.
Sounds to me like they are letting too much water go downstream from the dam.
Glo-bull warmchangdisruption, dontchaknow.
Recent studies indicate the lake levels might drop below the minimum of 1050ft elev to fill hydroelectric generation inlets as early as 2017, depending upon worldwide weather models.
Now that HAARP is being abandoned by the USAF and being transferred to possibly Canada, and a number of other progressive leaning countries/Agenda 21, who knows?
If they held more water in Lake Powell, Lake Mead would be even lower than it is.
SO that’s what I look like from space.
The watersheds of the upper Colorado river are not in a drought- they had close to 100 percent of snowpack, and it’s still snowing. Don’t know why they’ve let so much water out, but it’s not because of a drought.
I remember when Al Gore had ordered water released so he could have a nice backdrop of water rushing by in a campaign commercial. I suspect that the water is purposely being diverted just like water to California’s Central Valley is purposely being blocked.
There is your answer.
In addition to hydroelectric power, and recreation, Lake Powell was created to accommodate storage for runoff to mitigate flooding and erosion, and otherwise store “excess” water for irrigation and dry periods...
As of May 25, 2014, according to Colorado SNOTEL Snowpack Update Report, based on Mountain Data from NRCS SNOTEL Sites, the Colorado River Basin snowpack is running at about 185% of median...And still getting heavy snows...
Colorado CDOT has had to blast snow to open passes this year snows have been so heavy...Wet and dry cycles for the Rockies are nothing new...
Lake Powell could be refilled this summer once runoff begins in earnest...
The lake has been at this point or lower several times in it’s history...Looks bad now, but it will be back...
The Upper Colorado River Basin regularly experiences significant year to year hydrologic variability. During the 14-year period 2000 to 2013, however, the unregulated inflow to Lake Powell, which is a good measure of hydrologic conditions in the Colorado River Basin, was above average in only 3 out of the past 14 years. The period 2000-2013 is the lowest 14-year period since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, with an average unregulated inflow of 8.25 maf, or 76% of the 30-year average (1981-2010). (For comparison, the 1981-2010 total water year average is 10.83 maf.) The unregulated inflow during the 2000-2013 period has ranged from a low of 2.64 maf (24% of average) in water year 2002 to a high of 15.97 maf (147% of average) in water year 2011. Under the current forecast, total water year 2014 unregulated inflows to Lake Powell are expected to range between a minimum probable of 9.6 maf (88% of average) and a maximum probable of 12.7 maf (118% of average) with a most probable projection of 10.83 maf (100% of average).
They've got quite a few lean years to catch-up from; it may be decades before the lake refills completely, if ever.
according to DuncanWaring’s link http://lakepowell.water-data.com
Lake Powell is down from last year to nearly historic lows but its now refilling fast.
From what I’ve read, the lakes are down so low that it would take a couple years of more than 100% snowpack —as it is this year—in the rockies to refill the dams.
That said, its nice to hear there’s such a big snow pack this year.
The volume of Colorado River water that is available for irrigation in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico is established by the river's flow at the Utah-Arizona state line.
When the volumes were originally set, the river's flow was much greater than it is now -- it was a relatively wet period...and the evaporation and absorption attributable to Lake Powell is enormous.
Accordingly, more water has been allocated than is actually available...
If you go to that link, and hit “Graphs” immediately below the image at the top of the page, then select “Lake Powell” from the pull-down menu, you can see a graph of the lake level for the last five years.
2011 was very good, the other three of the four previous years were bad.
Lake Mead’s also available there; it’s not doing any better.
Create a chrisis.
with Heavy snow pack .
Looks like the take away of the graph is that most of colorado’s snow pack goes to the colorado river.
The Colorado state wide snowpack is 153.45% of the May 25th average.
The Colorado and Yampa Rivers are at 168 to 166 percent above average.
I tried posting that picture but couldn’t get it to work.
There is also a single chart that ostensibly shows a continuous graph of the water level since the dam was completed, but that one doesn’t seem to be working today (at least for me).
Which one ?
In April 2005 it got down to 3555’ before the spring runoff started; the last time it had been that low was during the early months of the Nixon administration, when it was initially filling.
Graphs -> Lake Powell, then select “All Time Lake Levels” from the pull-down menu at the bottom of the page.
When its working, it gives a single-line trace of the lake level since 1963; right now it gives (me) the graph posted earlier.
Though, you can get a tabular approximation by clicking on one of the “dates” in the table on the main page; that will give you the level on that date for every year since 1963. From there, you can maneuver around to different days.
The current forecast is to peak at 3616’, but that forecast was made prior to the Mother’s Day storm.
Umm...I’m just sharing this as the numbers don’t ring true to me
The linked article above is from 2001 and states at that time Glenn Canyon dam might not be able to generate power due to low lake level by 2007 and that in 2001 the lake was at 54% capacity.
Something hinky...the net result here is that folks in the SW gained another decade vs. the 2007 predictions of the Oneonta paper. Oooooo...CRISIS! /s
I think it was another FReeper that commented the Bundy fight was likely about water rights; I think that might be found to be factual.
With the possible exception of the Pacific Northwest, most everything that happens west of longitude W100 is about water rights one way or another.
Then there probably is a model that says something else. El Nino will fix them right up.
I tried posting that picture but couldnt get it to work.
This tool makes it easy to copy and past pictures or whole articles with pictures nicely laid out.
The Max Water Elevation of Glen Canyon Dam is recorded as 3711ft. The article posts the present water level at 1080ft, which is about 30 ft above the min operating inlet elevation of 1050ft.
In 2010 it’s lowest level was reached at 1081.85ft. End of last year it was recorded at 1103 in Nov13, having dropped about 20 ft since the previous Feb13.
With the present draught, the recharge might not happen for another year or so. If the article quoting the present level as 1080ft, even with precipitation in the watershed measuring like last year’s, it could drop to 1060ft.
in 1983, one of the higher years, it was 1206-1225ft.
the drought has occurred WITHOUT any rise in annual average global temperatures in the last 17+ years, clearly indicative of bigger forces than CO2 at work, affecting trade winds and jet stream cycles in the atmosphere, dynamically & constantly affecting, and changing, the flow or moisture laden clouds
Nice hydrology summary.
My bust,..I posted Lake Mead datum vice Lake Powell.
That’s why those who critiqued the report believed the worldwide weather models weren’t accurate enough to reliably forecast continuing drought.
Some decent historical datum here.
Lake Powell was at its present level in the late 1960s, when it was initially filling; from there it took another decade to completely fill.
That means from here it would take a decade of “normal” precipitation to refill.
But that would leave Lake Mead still half-full.
Refilling Lake Mead would take another decade (though in practice, both would be gradually filled simultaneously).
That’s assuming the precipitation patterns of the last half-century return, which is by no means a sure thing.
But, about 20 years ago in Arizona I saw a single winter storm erase the accumulated water deficit of a two-year drought. Another overall winter like 1982-1983 would help a lot.
That was one hellacious year for rainfall!
You talking about ‘82/’83? I missed that one.
Was that the year with the two 500-year storms a week apart, that flooded Sky Harbor?
I didn’t get there ‘til ‘84.
Right year. I wasn’t here, yet, either. I heard all about it when I returned Stateside in ‘88.