December 8, 2023

Rocky Daily News

Colorado Politics-Sports-Business-Weather

How did Lakes Mead and Lake Powell nearly go dry?

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During the drought-choked summer of 2021, Colorado’s largest reservoir, Blue Mesa, was low, its shoreline exposed and dusty like a dirty white collar.

The massive inflows from the Gunnison River, a major Colorado River tributary on which it relied, had shrunk to just 32% of average, the lowest on record.

Still, thousands of boaters and anglers came to the lake near Gunnison, as they always had, more intent than ever on using its cool water to escape the heat.

Then, in August of that year, the lake receded even more when Blue Mesa’s federal owner, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, issued an emergency order to release millions of gallons of water from Flaming Gorge and Blue Mesa to rescue Lake Powell, their massive sister lake to the…

Jerd Smith

2023-11-19 04:00:00

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