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New data says Lake Powell inflows expected to be 64% of normal this year

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The latest water supply outlook from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center estimates Lake Powell will only receive 64% of its average water inflows this year. The report was released Thursday.

Officials say the climate change-drive megadrought has shrunken water runoff in the Colorado River Basin by 20% since 2000. The depletion has led to the nation’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, being at the lowest water levels ever seen since they were constructed decades ago.

Hydropower generation at Lake Powell has dropped to roughly 68% of normal efficiency levels, according to the Utah Rivers Council. The advocacy group goes on to say the Bureau of Reclamation’s most recent climate change study on the Colorado River Basin is from 2012, and that management decisions are based on outdated science that fails to take into account the scope of climate change’s impact.

Errata: a previous headline misstated the amount of inflow.