Climate Change Desolates Lake Powell


Located in northern Arizona and stretching into Southern Utah, Lake Powell has experienced a devastating amount of water loss. Photo used under the creative commons license via Flickr.

filmed by Katie Barrow

Katie Ewald, Writer

The withering heat in recent years from climate change devastated the regions surrounding Arizona’s Lake Powell by cutting off water to farmers, depleting hydropower, and even wiping out organisms that utilize the area as their habitat. 

The lake acts as a holding tank for outflow from the Colorado River Upper Basin States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For these regions, the water stored is used for recreational purposes and delivering water to the Lower Basin states of California. In Page, Arizona alone, 7,500 residents’ main water source is at catastrophic risk

This body of water also generates power through turbines in dams which are responsible for generating power that electrifies homes, businesses, rural coops, and immigration pumps across 6 states and over 50 Native American tribes. 

The Glen Canyon Dam spans 1,560 ft and is 300 ft thick at the base.
Photo used under the creative commons license via Wikimedia Commons.

The Hill released its findings that the lake was under 24% full as of September 30th, 2022. Furthermore, their research found that Powell has lost 16 feet just in the last year, leaving its depth level to stand at around

Lake Powell’s surface area has shrunk dramatically and is currently filled to only 26 percent capacity.
Photo used under the creative commons license via Wikimedia Commons.

3,530 feet. 

The Bureau of Reclamation forecasts, designed to manage, develop and protect water and water-related resources, directly stated that Lake Powell has the potential to drop 37 feet by April 2023 to under 3,500 feet in elevation, to which the Glen Canyon Dam would be near its end to protruding hydropower entirely

This alarming amount of water loss will inevitably erupt into a worldwide panic because hydropower and the well-being of homeostasis for humans and animals are at risk. 

This is only one body of water in the US affected by climate change. Other areas of the world are at risk of the same, if not worse, conditions compared to Lake Powell.