I visited Lake Powell in August of 2020; I visited at the end of June 2021, two weeks ago. I was confused if I parked in same place. There is a swimming area that requires climbing down rocks that I couldn’t recognize. I have a near photographic memory for landscapes. I was dumbfounded. In 2020 the walk to the water was 5 minutes. Now there is a 20 foot cliff at the spot that had been my go-to beach in 2020.
I took a good number of photos in 2020. I tried to take identical photos this year. The topography had changed so much that it was hard to navigate. I’ve never tried to do something like this but these 3 sets came out correctly. There are also links to larger versions at the bottom — In this picture in particular there is a boat in the August 2020 image to really give a reference point. The people on the boat give a good size reference.
A few facts about lake Powell — first of all it’s effectively the Colorado river. It was made in 1963 for the hydro electric damn and it controls the flow of the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon. It’s the most important water source in the West. Period.
Lake Powell itself is the second largest man made reservoir in the US. It’s surface area is 161,000 acres. The depth is anywhere from a few inches on the beaches to 558 feet but a number that scares the crap out of me is that the average depth is 132 feet.
The levels in the picture are 30 feet down from when I was there 10 months before. I am not a water expert or anything close and I understand that the part of the lake I took the pictures is close to the dam. I assume this is the deepest part of the lake. The part that I can’t speak to is whether the entire lake has lost 30 feet. It seems that this would make sense and if the average depth is 132 feet that is beyond terrifying. However, I can only 100% say that the loss here is in the deepest part of the lake but it’s consistent in all points of view that I had.
I don’t know what else to say. I was floored. There is no more water coming in 2021. The snow melt is done. That’s where the water comes from, so, it seems logical that it’s going to lose more as water gets used in the summer months and into the fall. it only took 10 months for this to happen.
The pictures don’t really do it justice but I tried to show as best as I can — it’s a huge scope of view but you can see boats in the water.
To me this screams “emergency”. I have been posting in my social groups that people who are Republicans need to be convinced that this isn’t just their children’s lives being threatened but everyone who hopes to live 10 more years or maybe even less.
The photos are shareable without need for any credit. I’m not sure how to display the large versions but I think they have more of an impact if you can see them full sized. People need to wake up and maybe we can get some defector Republican politicians to accept this scientific reality.
I’m adding links to larger versions in Google Drive because apparently the image library resizes everything. The linked photos make it much more clear what is going on and are much larger in size and are sharable.
Image 1: drive.google.com/…
Image 2: drive.google.com/…
Image 3: drive.google.com/…
Here is the long shot split in half (it’s still smaller here than at Google though.
Comments are closed on this story.