Lake Powell | KUER 90.1

Lake Powell

Photo of a lake surrounded by red rock
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities

Photo of Glen Canyon filled with water.
Pikist.com

When the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966, it was a major development for water management in the arid west. It would also transform Glen Canyon, sometimes described as America's “lost national park,” into the second largest man-made reservoir in the country. 

Photo of two hikers at Bryce Canyon National Park.
Renee Bright/KUER

Tuesday morning, April 7, 2020

Photo of Virgin River in St. George, Utah
Judy Fahys / KUER

The seven states in the Colorado River Basin face a deadline this week to submit water shortage plans to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Utah’s Division of Water Resources has already teamed up with other Upper Basin States — Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming — on contingency plans, but the federal government wants to be sure that the entire basin has a workable solution in the event of a severe water shortage declaration that could come as soon as next year.

A photo of Lake Powell
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Environmental advocates want to use water from the nation’s second-largest reservoir to fill its largest one. But new research suggests the benefits might not be as obvious as they say.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Opposition has poured in against the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ended a public comment period on Monday.

Utah Division of Water Quality

State environmental officials said Tuesday they’re still monitoring water in Utah section of the San Juan River, but so far they haven’t detected contamination from last week’s Gold King Mine waste spill.

Invasive Quagga Mussel Could Cost State Millions

Jul 2, 2015
Brian Grimmett

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is fighting an uphill battle against a fast spreading, invasive species known as the quagga mussel. The DWR is doing what it can to stop its spread, but there are potentially disastrous consequences if they don’t.

Chris James / Flickr Creative Commons

    

Communities in the Southwestern part of the state want to develop Utah’s unused share of Colorado River water.  A federal agency is now putting pressure on the state’s water office to hand in its application for that development.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is giving Utah two more years to put together a workable plan for the 139-mile Lake Powell Pipeline. The state’s already had six years to complete its application, and the agency hinted last month it might not extend the deadline again.

Invasive Mussels Exposed at Lake Powell

Feb 26, 2014
Natalie Muth, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  Low water levels in Lake Powell have revealed a much bigger problem with quagga mussels than was previously believed.

The invasive mussels have been spreading through waterways across North America.  They can damage dams and power plants as well as fisheries.  Mark Hadley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says the water level in Lake Powell has dropped by about eight feet over the past year, and that’s revealed some huge numbers of the tiny shellfish clinging to exposed rocks.

Wikimedia Commons

  The new study in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association estimates about 380,000 acre-feet of water a year is lost when it soaks into the lake's sandstone banks each year.  That’s more than the state of Nevada is entitled to take from the river under a 1922 interstate compact.

U Professor Optimistic about America's Rivers

Sep 10, 2012

The head of the University of Utah's environmental and sustainability studies program says he's optimistic about the future of rivers across America.  In his new book River Republic, Professor Dan McCool argues this is happening because Americans are learning the value of their rivers, not for irrigation or hydropower or transportation, but for their own sake.  He spoke with KUER's Dan Bammes. Information about River Republic on Columbia University Press website.