COLORADO, USA — The federal Bureau of Reclamation took the unprecedented step Thursday of starting to release more water from already stressed reservoirs in the Colorado River Basin to support power production at Lake Powell.
>> The video above is from 2020 about, drought causing extremely low water levels in Colorado rivers
The agency started releasing more water from Flaming Gorge Dam on the Utah-Wyoming border Thursday and expects additional releases to come from Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison in Colorado and Navajo Reservoir on the Colorado-New Mexico border until December. The Colorado River Basin includes the Colorado River, which starts in Grand County, and the tributaries in several states that feed it.
Additional releases are needed after 2.5 million acre-feet of expected water did not flow into Lake Powell between January and July. The agency expects to release 181,000 acre-feet to ensure that the hydroelectric generators at Glen Canyon dam can continue to produce electricity. An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot and generally considered enough to supply a family of four for a year.
Adding to concerns, runoff into Lake Powell is only 30% of average, according to the bureau.
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