On September 22, the Bureau of Reclamation released updated projections for levels in the Colorado River’s major reservoirs - Lake Powell and Lake Mead. As a result of continued historic drought and low runoff conditions, both reservoirs are at risk of reaching critically low levels.
In Lake Powell, projections indicate that the critical elevation of 3,525 feet now has a near 90% chance of being reached next year. In Lake Mead, elevation 1,025 feet (the third shortage trigger) is as high as 66% in 2025.
Statement from Colorado River Commissioner Rebecca Mitchell:
"Though deeply troubling, these projections tell us what we already know and have experienced in Colorado and the whole Upper Basin - that this has been a very dry and challenging year and these conditions will continue into the future. Our water users have already experienced painful and deep cuts, and these will continue. Colorado is fully committed to working with the basin states and the Bureau of Reclamation to chart a course that provides additional security to the entire Colorado River Basin and its water users during this challenging time and into the future."
For further information, read the Bureau of Reclamation’s news release.