August 14, 2016--Study: Drought like 2000-2006 would empty Lake Powell (Aspen Daily News)

From his office along the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, Eric Kuhn can see the bottom of Lake Powell. Kuhn, the general manager of the Colorado River District, has been working for months on a study asking if future droughts will drop water levels in Lake Powell so low that Glen Canyon Dam won’t be able to produce hydropower or release enough water to meet downstream demands. “If we were to have another 2000-2006 drought, with where our starting conditions are today, we would basically empty Lake Powell,” Kuhn told the board of directors of the river district last month in an update on the study. “Now, we’re not going to do that. No one will allow Lake Powell to become empty.” But today, Lake Powell is already half full after one of the driest 15-year periods on record in the upper basin. And Kuhn said no one wants to see a “compact call” triggered because Colorado, Wyoming and Utah fail to deliver enough water through the Glen Canyon Dam to California and Arizona. Such a call could prevent those who own post-1922 water rights from diverting water from the river. And that includes most of the transmountain diversions in Colorado. To view the full article visit  the Aspen Daily News.