Apr 242011

A quick search turns up several news reports which tell the tale for the current plan for Lake Powell water levels. And, the associated story becomes clear very quickly. Lake level has just hit the transition point from lowering water levels to rising water levels.

Lake Powell Water Levels - www.water-data.com
Lake Powell Water Levels – www.water-data.com

But, the curious aspect of this graph is the difference in the rate at which the lake level has been dropping through last winter. The curve is much steeper than previous years. Also, as a result, the turning point from draining to filling has been extended early March to late April. Looking at daily inflow and outflow rates for this date over the last few years shows that the outflow rate this year is the highest of the last 10 years and roughly 30% greater than avereage for this time period.

10 year Lake Powell data for April 24 - lakepowell.water-data.com

10 year Lake Powell data for April 24 - lakepowell.water-data.com

The core issue is decreasing water levels at Lake Mead and a desire to maintain water level there. Here is a report from Southern Utah’s KCSG TV station,  Lake Mead Water Level to Rise 20 feet With Increased Water Flow From Lake Powell.

The good news is that the snow pack above Lake Powell is above average. Also, the Castle Rock cutoff is already 2 feet above the usable level. Over all, and I think with a little luck, this summer’s water level will be much like last summer’s. Hopefully, the rising levels at Lake Mead will help keep those mussel infested boats down in Las Vegas and out of Lake Powell.

Snowpack above Lake Powell

Snowpack above Lake Powell




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