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Where does this all end up.

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bw56

Active Member
I have a question for Wayne and all of you long time Lake Powell friends.
The rate of change in our society in the past 10 years has been astronomical.
I used to laugh at the Lake Powell drainers. I am now thinking that it could happen
in the relatively near future. While this is only a small issue in the scope of our
countries life, it is still important to a lot of us.
( I am from California where the wheels are coming off, forgive me if this sounds
extreme.)

Love to hear your comments and thoughts.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
We definitely need more rain and snow over winter. If that doesn't happen then the old way of life - saving runoff water in reservoirs - will no longer be adequate to provide water for arid cities and states. I do not know what the future holds but I hope we go back to having enough water in the Western US.
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
We definitely need more rain and snow, and have had a lot less this last while, but there would be even far less water without Powell or Mead. Powell might be half full but it’s still doing exactly what it was made for. But that’s also just my opinion, which isn’t sought after or expressed much, not that it would make any difference.
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Way too many rely on the Colorado river’s water now, and I don’t see an alternative to supplement that supply if lost? Plus Powell makes a lot of money. Those two factors are hard argue for drainers and are big positives for those of us who want it to remain. Sorry, multiple posts over.
 

airford1

Well-Known Member
No way can they drain powell , it needs to survive as it was intended. The future is better water conservation, ie artificial lawns for one along with better irrigation for farming. The population growth in the region will need to slow and have control at some point.
 

Dave I.

Escalante-Class Member
This year is not so much a "drainer" issue as we have had a severely dry year. Just 1.5 weeks ago, we had the first measurable rainfall for a year, yes a year, here in Hanksville, UT. If the drought doesn't end, sadly, Lake Powell will drain itself due to not enough inflow and regulated outflow that exceeds the inflow.
Like it was said, Lake Powell is a major player in water conservation and generates a lot of money for the government and provides a great number of jobs. I personally think the "drainers" are wishing for a pipe dream. Even if they were to succeed to drain it, they would be disappointed because it would be decades (I'm sure much longer) before the Colorado River would return to it's a original state because of all the silt that is filling the Lake.
The fact is that having Powell filled with water provides a chance for people to see parts of this country that they wouldn't be able to see if it were dry. It provides so much revenue that only the blind would think it's a good idea to drain it. The Gov't isn't going to give up that income either.
Draining the lake in a "no win" for everyone in my opinion. There are many communities that depend on the tourism. Draining it would be detrimental to the entire southern Utah.
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
Don't get discouraged with all the drainer news lately. You can mark your calendar by it--this time of year when Powell is dropping, there's always a bunch of news about Powell draining away. And rightly so this year with our dismal water year. We barely got three feet of runoff this spring, while last year was 48 or 49 feet. Yes, Powell fluctuates, and is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. If you remember back in 2005, Powell dropped to 155 feet from full pool. Right now, it's only 105 feet down. It's such a bummer that the 1922 Colorado River Compact is set in stone and not open for updating. (Nearly 100 years ago!) Since that time, the climate has changed considerably, and the population has more than quadrupled. More people to use more resources. The Lower Basin will continue to take its share and more. They would never consider cutting back to conserve water in the system. Which is why the Compact needs to be renegotiated to prevent the Lower Basin from sucking the system dry.

Powell will never be drained. Too much is at stake. Those groups can keep dreaming their romantic little pipe dreams. What we need now is NOT to have another high flow "experiment" and to have an epic winter.

Tiff

POWELL TO THE PEOPLE!
 

botnb

Well-Known Member
Too bad we don't hear from any people WITH brains on this subject. All we seem to hear is the drones voices and we all know what their opinions are worth --- NOTHING !!!!
 

LP1

Active Member
Most of the Colorado is used for ag and a big part of the Colorado water supply issue can be solved by reforming water right laws, which still are based on "use it or lose it." There is no incentive for most farmers along the Colorado to use less water, in fact, the opposite in generally true. I believe about half the Colorado is used for ag in the Imperial Valley. All the water is technically owned by the irrigation district, but periodically farmers can fallow their field and the water will be leased for a year or so to one of the metros. Farmers are paid for their water based upon their historical use, i.e., the farmers who use the most water make the most money under the lease program. This same formula will likely be used for any future water right acquisition, should it come to that. The numbers are very large and farmers are not dumb. For example, a relative of mine had 70 acres of marginal farmland they lease out for ag production at about $15,000 per year. For the years the land is fallowed and only the water is leased to San Diego or LA, they receive roughly $70,000 per year. If they cut their water use by 10%, they lose $7,000 the next time they lease the water, and thats just for 70 acres. This is solvable and significant water savings can be achieved just by bringing water right laws into the current century. I live in New Mexico, which has "use or lose it" water right laws. You are forced to irrigate your full acreage every year or lose your water rights. You cannot conserve water over the long term, even if you wanted to. Meanwhile the Rio Grande and all our reservoirs are nearly dry.
 

Bill Sampson

Escalante-Class Member
In Southern California our rain measurement begins in June of every year. So far this year the weather people say we have had 1/4" of rain. I would like to know where that fell. Even last year we were in he 3 inch range, when normal is over 13 inches. Down here they keep building homes, apartments, an condominiums. I have no idea where the water will come from. The guy with the water rights will have a lot of clout here in the future.
 

davew

Well-Known Member
I see a new tactic starting that I believe will be used by the drainers -- there was a article in the Grand Junction Dailey Sentinel today titled " Lake Powell mussels multiplying, menacing Colo. lakes, reservoirs" In a nut shell, it said Lake Powell was at fault for any mussel problem found in Colorado. It did not mention that mussels were in many other lakes before lake powell ( I believe they were even found in some Colorado lakes before they were found in lake powell--- can someone verify if that is true) nothing said about lake mead, great lakes..... -- just lake powell. It also said that one of the problems is that the lake is lower this year which exposes more mussels, and boats are in contact with them more ---- correct me if I am wrong, but water level has nothing to do with being able to hitchhike a mussel.
Another thing the "spokesperson" said -- " CPW hasn't had any conversations about the possibly prohibiting boats that have been on lake powell from going into lakes and reservoirs" --- then why are you saying this? because you think CPW should have the conversation????
Bottom line it was a very anti- Powell article go take a look -- others thoughts?
 

Ryan

Escalante-Class Member
I see a new tactic starting that I believe will be used by the drainers -- there was a article in the Grand Junction Dailey Sentinel today titled " Lake Powell mussels multiplying, menacing Colo. lakes, reservoirs" In a nut shell, it said Lake Powell was at fault for any mussel problem found in Colorado. It did not mention that mussels were in many other lakes before lake powell ( I believe they were even found in some Colorado lakes before they were found in lake powell--- can someone verify if that is true) nothing said about lake mead, great lakes..... -- just lake powell. It also said that one of the problems is that the lake is lower this year which exposes more mussels, and boats are in contact with them more ---- correct me if I am wrong, but water level has nothing to do with being able to hitchhike a mussel.
Another thing the "spokesperson" said -- " CPW hasn't had any conversations about the possibly prohibiting boats that have been on lake powell from going into lakes and reservoirs" --- then why are you saying this? because you think CPW should have the conversation????
Bottom line it was a very anti- Powell article go take a look -- others thoughts?

Mussel veligers were detected in Pueblo and possibly Granby years ago. It was determined that those were a "false positive"as both of those lakes have now tested clean for over 5 years (could be wrong on the time frame, but they are clean from mussels).

It is true that there are quagga in many other lakes across the country. For Colorado, the main difference is that there are not many boats that go to Mead/Havasu/Great Lakes, etc, and then return to Colorado in a timeframe that would allow the transfer to happen.

On the other hand, Lake Powell is frequented by MANY Colorado boaters. When we go to Bullfrog, I would say that 50% or more of the boats are from Colorado. And I personally have been on Powell one day, and at a Colorado lake within a week (I always decontaminate).

Waterlevel has nothing to do with transporting quagga. But it does allow more people than ever before to see the devastation that these invasive are causing (maybe a good thing so that people will take them more seriously).

I am the opposite of a drainer. But I am of the belief that Powell will cause the infection of many lakes. That spread could be prevented, but not with the current "plan".
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
I did notice this year that deconners were saying more people were tracting mussels into the actual boat more than ever. That probably has a direct correlation with lower water and more exposed mussels.

Also, draining the lake wouldn’t get rid of he mussels.

Mussels are just the new norm, I know it will dissuade some people from coming and they definitely are annoying but they’d never stop us from coming.
 

VanillaIceCream

Well-Known Member
Remember that the Southwest has been slowly drying for at least 1,200 years. The Anasazi eventually had to leave for that and other reasons. Maybe this is a continuation of that pattern and who knows how long the cycle is?


Also does anyone remember the 1977 drought? Really bad. Way worse than our summer 2018.

The just a few years later (1983) the dam almost overflowed by too much water.

Its like a pendulum.
 

bw56

Active Member
I guess I don't see any leadership on this issue anywhere, least of all California. New dams in Northern California, underground storage, desal plants.
You cant just keep charging more and more.
 

Waterbaby

Escalante-Class Member
The new NOAA report was out today. Bottom line, we're still at ENSO neutral with Westward blowing winds, 50/50 chance of a "weak" El Nino this winter.

As for the drainers. They will always try... but with the current administration the dam isn't going anywhere.
 

Waterbaby

Escalante-Class Member
I guess I don't see any leadership on this issue anywhere, least of all California. New dams in Northern California, underground storage, desal plants.
You cant just keep charging more and more.

Californian's voted for this. They have to live with it. Now they want rid of all fossil fuels including cars and boats unless electric... again you get who and what you vote for.. now they want to come over here and to the same to Az with Prop 127 which is leaving a flyer in my mailbox on a daily basis. I left California because of the insanity - they need to keep it over there and not import into Arizona. I choose to have solar power as a personal choice - I also choose to drive a gas-guzzling truck. BTW they just passed a bill in CA that you can only use 55 gallons of water a day. This means you get a shower or do laundry - can't do both, forget watering your lawn.
 

airford1

Well-Known Member
BTW they just passed a bill in CA that you can only use 55 gallons of water a day. This means you get a shower or do laundry - can't do both, forget watering your lawn.

I missed that one and would like to know the bill #
 
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