Lake Powell’s water levels are dropping after months of increase
Jul 14, 2023, 11:00 AM
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SOUTHERN UTAH— Since Lake Powell’s water levels have been increasing all year, it’s hard to believe that better water levels may be in danger.
They are, and it’s thanks to the heat.
Earlier this year, Lake Powell’s water levels were the lowest on record. Now, the lake is 45 feet higher than it was at this time last year. In fact, KSL NewsRadio reported that the runoff from this year’s snowpack could be enough to keep the lake in good standing for a couple of years.
Now, an extreme heat wave is crossing the American southwest. And the lake has had several days where it’s losing water instead of gaining it.
Where Lake Powell water levels are today is where they’ll stay, until they decrease
According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Utah has entered the “base flow period,” where water that emptied into lakes from rivers and streams is not comprised of spring runoff. Lake Powell’s water levels won’t increase again until next year’s spring runoff season.
Less water isn’t uncommon, water levels tend to decrease in the lake beginning in June or July. This year, the decrease is happening a few weeks later than it did in 2021 and 2022.
However, temperatures rising into the triple digits will speed up the evaporation process, and the progress we’ve made this year could be mitigated by more hot summers like this.
- Lake Powell to receive a boost in water supply
- Water experts say it’s going to take more than one big year to fill the Great Salt Lake
- Lake Powell is sitting low; this group is trying to raise the water levels