Lake Powell’s receding waters show risk of U.S. ‘megadrought’

More than 500 feet (150 meters) deep in places and with narrow side canyons, the shoreline of the lake is longer than the entire West Coast of the United States. It extends upstream into Utah from Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam and provides water for Nevada, Arizona and California.

But a severe drought in recent years, combined with the tapping of the lake’s water at what many consider to be an unsustainable level, has reduced its levels to only about 42 percent of its capacity, according to the U.S. space agency NASA. Continue reading

Colorado river is collapsing ‘sooner than anyone thought’

(NaturalNews) Water resource experts have known for many years that current use of the Colorado River is not sustainable. Sixteen years of drought have made it clear that the river is overtaxed, and cannot indefinitely meet the demands of agriculture, hydroelectric generation, recreation and sustaining the populations of some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

This past spring was an unusually wet one, leading to higher-than-average runoff from river’s source in the Rocky Mountains. Yet even at atypically high levels, the river still ran dry before reaching its outlet at the Gulf of California.

All of which suggests that the elaborate water distribution system that sustains the cities and farms of the Southwest may be collapsing sooner than anyone expected. Continue reading

Not just Lake Mead, Lake Powell is also headed for catastrophic drought collapse

Today, Lake Powell’s vastness is diminishing with water levels falling under 45 percent capacity. The conditions at Lake Powell are beginning to look similar to Lake Mead, the world’s largest reservoir, which sits 180 miles downriver and is also drying up at a shocking pace.

Lake Powell’s “Bathtub ring” now appears 100 feet above boaters

Water levels at Glen Canyon dam have fallen more than 100 feet. The shoreline of Lake Powell now shows a deepening “bathtub ring” – a natural phenomenon that shows how high water levels used to be. This “bathtub ring” now shows in the sandstone walls of the canyon some 100 feet above today’s boaters who must now navigate around emerging islands and mud bogs. Continue reading