I actually got gas at the Bullfrog Fuel Dock, (for the first time in 30+ years) the price was $6.50 ish. I was told that they dropped the price $1.50+ per gallon after Labor Day. Regular gas was $4.70 at the land based station and $4.88 at Offshore. SqIts more conveinant at Bullfrog, but I loved it at Halls. Much better view. But that BS with no pumpout and gas was not good, even though I rarely buy gas on the lake.
I agree that Lake Powell is enjoyable at many water levels but my concern is that the Lake may decline to a useless level as long term over use continues. It came close last year but was bailed out by the huge snow pack. Restructuring one irrigation district- the Imperial Valley - greatly improves the over use problem.That's a very good post, and accurate in its basic assessment of the situation. In the end, there's going to have to be a re-framing of the existing legal structure around water use, because as it is, the current structure incentivizes waste and inefficiency. And that wrongly makes it look like farmers in general are to blame for all the ills in the Colorado River basin. The truth is that you have a handful of irrigation districts trying to protect their rights. And relative to California water use, I'll say it again--statewide water use amounts to about 42 maf on average, of which about 10% comes from the Colorado River. And of that 10%, about three-fourths is used by one irrigation district in the Imperial Valley that's been in existence since 1911, and is the driver behind the entire system. Figure out how to make them whole in all this, and you're far down the road to a solution. As for the rest of California, with the exception of about 1 maf used by the giant metro areas in LA and SD, it has nothing to do with the Colorado River. And those two metro areas are working hard to diversify their water portfolios, a good step in the right direction.
On the issue of recreational use of Lake Powell, the only importance I attach to higher lake levels is to ensure that access and related infrastructure is maintained, mostly as an economic issue. Full pool is fun, but personally, I think there are some real gems revealed at all different lake levels, and for me, I'm fine playing the cards as they're dealt. There's plenty to see and do, no matter how high or low the lake is. But that's just me. At the same time, I miss the days you could boat up into White Canyon and then hike beyond the Route 95 bridge, or when you could boat way beyond Hite--or that you could get gas at Hite Marina. But then again, low water conditions reveal things like Gregory Bridge, an open Cathedral in the Desert, or some awesome beaches never seen before. As I say, you play the ball where it lays, and take advantage of the conditions as they present themselves. It's different every year, as it's always been, and that's what I love about Lake Powell.
The more important reason to keep the lake level up has nothing to do with recreation, but as an insurance policy related to regional water and power use. I say "insurance policy", because we all have to seriously figure out how to collectively wean ourselves off this source of water and power (to the extent possible) if we can't sustain it through long-term diminishing snowpack. Part of that solution is better conservation (in Utah in particular), part is more efficient water use (especially in the ag sector), and part is developing other sustainable water supplies, one of which is recycled water (or recycled wastewater--"toilet to tap"). Say what you want about Las Vegas, but they do a great job recycling their water. Vegas is not the problem. And Arizona faces the greatest challenges in this regard, having put a lot of their eggs in the Colorado River basket, both from a municipal and agricultural perspective. Roughly 30-40% of all AZ water supply comes from the river, a much higher percentage than any other state, with water rights junior to California...yikes... ...a very tough situation for them...
Long-term re-imagining of our water and power structure is just the smart thing to plan for, and fortunately, last winter bought us all a little more time to do that. Let's not lose the momentum that was gained when we stared into a crisis during 2021-22...
Looks like right now it's flowing about 4000 cfs near Cisco, which is about average for this date.I just got back from a road trip to Cheyenne WY. We came back through Colorado and stayed one night in Rifle. It has been a long time being there but it seemed the river was flowing very well. Does anybody in the know, know if this is the normal flow this time of year or is it above/below average?