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Lake Powell in Crisis

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by

madison reno

on 9 June 2016

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Transcript of Lake Powell in Crisis

Lake Powell
Lake Powell sits behind the 700-foot-tall Glen Canyon Dam
nation’s second-largest water reserve behind lake Mead
water levels have recently fluctuated between 39 and 51 percent full
Reservoir is almost 200 miles long
Lake Powell in Crisis
By Madison J Reno
The Problem
Why is Lake Powell Important
Pollution
Threats to Lake Powell
Possible Outcomes
The Stakes
Drained by overuse and drought
Lake Powell is lined with porous rock
About 123 billion gallons or 2.6% of Colorado flow goes into rocks
168 billion gallons evaporates off the surface annually
Current capacity is about 45%
Has been as low as 38%
Lake Powell could become a "dead pool"
Water too low to flow through dam and generate power
If Lake Powell was removed, the Southwest would have about 6 percent more water overnight
Removing lake Powell would fill lake Mead
This could save 179 billion gallons a year
Removal of dam could boost fish species by 80%
Indirect Impacts
Attempting to use water from Lake Powell farmers etc. have been drilling into aquifers
Pulled out about 17trillion gallons of water
More than double capacity of lake mead
Utah wary of future impact as contaminated mine water reaches Lake Powell
lead, arsenic and other heavy metals
Boats and recreational equipment
3 million people a year visit Lake Powell


It provides the majority of electricity for Las Vegas
As well as many other cities in Southwest
Reservoir provides water source
Drought
Agriculture
Water rights
Local population increase using more water
Precipitation could lower by 25% by end of century
Conclusion
If drought continues and population keeps rising, without action in roughly ten years the lake will be a dead pool, unusable for electricity, or even recreation.
Summary
Bibliography
http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/gcd.html
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/lake_powell.php
https://projects.propublica.org/killing-the-colorado/story/lake-powell-photos
http://www.lakepowell.org/page_two/what_s_new/what_s_new.html
https://weather.com/climate-weather/drought/news/lake-powell-drought-photos
http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/americas-second-largest-reservoir-lake-powell-is-disappearing/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Powell
http://www.glencanyon.org/media_center/gci-news
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/17/lake-powell-drought-colorado-river
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/lake-mead-hits-record-low-a-debate-over-dams.html
http://kutv.com/news/local/toxic-plume-reaches-lake-powell-river-open-in-colorado
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865634777/Utah-wary-of-future-impact-as-contaminated-mine-water-reaches-Lake-Powell.html?pg=all

My presentation is on Lake Powell and the current issues with it, considering the massive drought and water shortage it is facing. Lake Powell is the second largest dam reservoir in the United States, at about 200 miles long, it sits behind the Glen Canyon Dam spanning the states Arizona and Utah. Lake Powell is a major source of electricity and water in the Southwest. The problem is that the reservoir is steadily being drained by drought and overuse. Lake Powell is also leaky like a sieve because of porous rocks that line it’s basin. About 2.6% of the Colorado river flow is lost to the porous rocks every year. Plus an additional 168 billion gallons that evaporates off the surface every year. Current capacity averages about 45%. If nothing is done or changes, Lake Powell will be an unusable dead pool within the next few years. The major threats to Lake Powell are drought, the ever increasing population in desert areas, like where Lake Powell is, as well as steadily lowering precipitation. Pollution has an impact on Lake Powell, but it is fairly minimal. The biggest indirect impact of the low water level of Lake Powell is that farmers in particular have had to start pumping groundwater out of aquifers. So far they have pumped about 17 trillion gallons or twice the capacity of Lake Mead. The biggest suggested fix for Lake Powell is to go ahead and remove the Glen Canyon Dam and let Lake Powell flow into Lake Mead, filling Lake Mead and hopefully saving as much as 179 billion gallons of water a year. If drought continues and populations keep rising and nothing is done, in as little as ten years, Lake Powell could become unusable and a big mud puddle.
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