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Will Lake Powell Drain?

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

As the snow falls in the mountains of Colorado, it so far has not made a dent in the drought that has gripped the Southwest U.S. and California.  Last week one of our fans on Facebook shared the photo below with us and then we shared widely — the result is that this photo of a draining Lake Powell has now been shared over 1,350 times and over 100,000 Facebookers have viewed the photo.  (Click here if you’d like to see the large version of the photo and leave your own comment on Facebook about it.)  Recently, the Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, said that climate change is the “new normal” on the Colorado River ecosystem.  As such, is there ever a way that Lake Powell will fill up again?  The view of the dried-up and abandoned Hite Marina gives an eerie feel to the photo with the diminished Colorado River snaking across the other side of the valley.

And on the topic of Lake Powell, with the retirement of Pat Mulroy from the Las Vegas area water district, there appears to be some cracks opening in the public discourse about how Vegas has managed its water supply and the Colorado River.  This past week, a TV commentator on 8 News Now provided this scathing rant to viewers that included a call for Vegas to support the effort to further drain Lake Powell and use the water to fill Lake Mead.  The video has gone somewhat viral on the internet.  The idea of draining Lake Powell is of course extremely controversial, but at the same time Vegas is spending nearly a billion dollars digging a “Third Straw” under Lake Mead to get water as the lake level declines, and with climate change and the “new normal” both lakes continue to drop and drop.  As we have noted in previous blogs, some of the states want to drain water out of the reservoirs in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico to refill Lakes Powell and Mead, but that too is likely to be extremely controversial.  Something has to change.  This commentator’s lively rant sharpens the public debate on this issue — take a look.

On a sad note, we mourn the recent passing of famous songwriter and acoustic guitarist, TR Ritchie.  TR had a strong interest in protecting the rivers of the West.  In this music video, TR entertained Alexandra Cousteau, Jonathan Waterman, and the crew of Blue Legacy International as they traveled down the Colorado River on rafts.  This song, “Let This Mighty River Roll,” aims to free the river and let it roll to the sea.  Take a look and listen here on YouTube:


Thank you for your support and stay tuned for more updates from Save The Colorado!

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