The Upper Colorado River Commission approved the 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan, which calls for 500,000 acre-feet of water to be released from Flaming Gorge Reservoir between May 2022 and April 2023 to protect critical elevations at Lake Powell. The Plan will now go to the Secretary of the Interior for final approval.
“Developing the 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan is an unprecedented and significant action by the Upper Colorado River Basin states to protect the Colorado River System for all who rely on it. The 500,000 acre-feet to be released from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in the coming year is in addition to the 161,000 acre-feet of water previously released from Blue Mesa and Flaming Gorge Reservoirs,” said Colorado River Commissioner Becky Mitchell. “In total, the Upper Basin has contributed 661,000 acre-feet of water to protect critical elevations at Lake Powell. The Upper Basin States are doing our part to protect the Colorado River System.”
The Drought Response Operations Agreement was signed in 2019 by the Upper Basin States and the Secretary of the Interior to minimize risks to Lake Powell. The 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan is a one-year plan under that Agreement.