Water Levels Continue to Drop at Lake Mead, Lake Powell

Sep 3, 2018

Scientists say water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell are dropping to dangerous levels, reflecting the Colorado River's worsening "structural deficit."

Lake Powell's so-called bathtub ring shows its previous level.
Credit Patti Weeks/epod.usra.edu

The Arizona Republic reports scientists from the Colorado River Research Group say Lake Powell has declined because of extra water releases flowing into Lake Mead.

Doug Kenney, the group's chair and a professor at the University of Colorado, says Lake Powell is being drained to maintain Lake Mead. Lake Powell sits at about 48 percent full, and Lake Mead is about 38 percent full.

Powell's levels are projected to fall 94 feet by the end of the year below where the reservoir stood in 2000, when it was nearly full.

The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water for about 40 million people.