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Conservationists say Lake Powell's falling water levels could be an opportunity

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2023 - 4:56pm
Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 8:22am
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For years, environmental groups have said that the construction of Glen Canyon Dam put one of the Southwest’s most scenic places under water.

Now, some say that Lake Powell’s falling levels present an opportunity to restore that scenery.

Lake Powell is the second-largest reservoir in the United States.

It was built to store water from the Colorado River, but also to generate electricity.

As the river has fallen due to a declining snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, keeping the turbines moving has been a challenge.

Gary Wockner of the nonprofit Save the Colorado said the hydroelectric power challenges are driving Bureau of Reclamation policy.

“Our opinion is that it makes more sense to not save the hydroelectric plant at Glen Canyon Dam because electricity can be replaced,” Wockner said.

He says that focusing on Lake Mead, located about two hundred miles downstream, could buy time and help bring the system back into balance.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the distance between Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

Climate ChangeEnvironment Water