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Reservoir Water Levels Rising ... Slowly

Lake Powell
Water authorities in the Southwest promise to compensate towns, tribes and other partners for coming up with water saving strategies that will boost the levels of Lakes Powell and Mead.

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Reservoir Water Levels Rising ... Slowly

Reservoir Water Levels Rising ... Slowly


Lake Powell is expected to rise 10 feet this year but it has a long way to go.

It’s been a wet fall in the Southwest — an improvement over the last two years.

The Lake Powell reservoir provides water and electricity for Arizona, California and Nevada. Analysts predict Lake Powell will rise 10 feet this year. But it still has a long way to go to reach sufficient levels.

Katrina Grantz, a hydraulic engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation, said it dropped 65 feet the last two years.

“I don’t think we should forget the past two years,” Grantz said. “We certainly need to keep planning and thinking and talking.”

Glen Canyon Dam is releasing less water this year because of the decline, and the entire region is still in a drought. But Grantz said if the most recent rain and snow pattern continues operators may be able to release more water next year.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.