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'Fill Mead First' proposal picking up steam as Colorado River faces ongoing drought

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 10:43am
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 10:50am

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Lake Mead
Getty Images
Low Colorado River water levels can be seen at Lake Mead.

A once-controversial idea dubbed the “One-Dam Solution” or “Fill Mead First” is gaining steam as climate change threatens the health of the Colorado River — and millions of us who rely on its water. 

It used to be environmentalists who pushed for draining Lake Powell, bypassing Glen Canyon Dam, and filling up the river’s largest reservoir first: Lake Mead. But now, farmers are joining in the call. 

Luke Runyon, co-director of the Water Desk at the University of Colorado's Center for Environmental Journalism, has covered water in the West and the Colorado River for years and he joined The Show to explain it all.

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