Lake Powell’s low water level can be seen falling from the sky


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After several years of drought, the water level at Lake Powell, the second largest man -made body of water in the United States, dropped to its lowest level ever. of the past 50 years, threatening the millions of people who rely on its water supply. We can see the water in the lake dwindling in the face of climate change.

On the border of southeastern Utah and southeastern Arizona, Lake Powell is an important resource in the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River, through which Lake Powell flows, closed off Glen Canyon in the 1960s. The lake provides water to about 40 million people, melting over 2.2 million acres of land. land and can generate more than 4200 megawatts of hydropower.

By mid -March 2022, Lake Powell had dropped to an astonishing 1074 m above sea level – the lowest lake since it was filled in 1980. This significant fall was recorded. of water levels in real color photographs captured by the Copernicus Sentinel -2 missionaries.

The scene pictured below shows the change in the water surface at Bullfrog Marina, about 90 km north of Glen Canyon Dam, between March 2018 and March 2022. The drought conditions and water shortages are not clear in the photograph taken on 18 March 2022, compared. at the beach 2018 shown in the photo in yellow.

The skin of Lake Powell is changing

The falling water levels due to the heat and the falling water left little water flowing in the Colorado River. The high current can flow into Lake Powell in the middle of the spring, while the winter snow melts in the Rocky Mountains.

The line chart shows the largest drop in water levels in March since 2000, when Lake Powell was at about 1120 m high. The current height is only meters from what is considered a ‘low power water’ – the height at which Glen Canyon Dam can generate hydroelectric power. If Lake Powell falls again, it could quickly hit a ‘deadpool’ where water does not flow between the water and reach nearby Lake Mead.

According to a report compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey in association with the Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Powell’s treasury lost about 7% of its manageable capacity from 1963 to 2018, respectively. when the tunnels of the Glen Canyon Dam were closed and the reservoir began. to fill.

The depletion is said to be due to sediments carried away by the Colorado and San Juan rivers. These sediments remain at the bottom of the reservoir and reduce the amount of water that can be retained in the reservoir.

It is expected that changing the air will make drought more difficult in the future. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Spring Outlook for the US, nearly 60% of the U.S. is experiencing drought.

These conditions continue in more than half of the United States until as low as June, depleting water supplies and increasing the risk of wildfires. Although these conditions are no longer new, the company expects them to increase in the coming months.

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