lake is now storing nearly 4 trillion gallons of water.
For water year 2006, the Bureau of
Reclamation is officially forecasting a
continuing upward trend.
We are proud of our beaches and the
quality of the Lake Powell experience.
The equation in my book is that
many, many more people can come and enjoy the geology and the canyon with the recreation
The Colorado River is of strategic importance to the Southwest United States.
|Over a 50 Foot Rise!
Lake Powell and the newly extended concrete launch ramps
are covered under deep water. The rising lake level has increased tourism and water
recreation which are important aspects of the rural economy of northern Arizona and southern Utah.
In a significant rebound
from a prolonged and severe drought, Lake Powell has come up 53 feet this spring and summer.
Recreational access is good at
drought years and declining lake levels, we tend to forget that even an average snowpack
can substantially increase the level of Lake Powell," said Friends of Lake Powell board
member, Paul Ostapuk. This years snowpack in Colorado was rather ordinary (110% of average) yet it
still translated into more than a 50-foot vertical rise in the 160-mile long lake. The
lake now stores nearly 4 trillion gallons of water.
Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the nation,
initially filled in 1980. Since that time, it has subsequently fluctuated up and down with
the variances of Colorado River snowpack. This year, the snowpack in Colorado was only
slightly above normal. However, it was welcome news to water managers and water
recreationists who have felt the impact of 5 years of drought and meager snowpacks that
have averaged just 50% of normal.
flow of the Colorado River can fluctuate between 4 and 24 million-acre
feet per year.
prolonged drought in the early 1990s lowered the level of Lake Powell to within a few feet of todays
elevation. Then, the fortune of Lake Powell reversed and in just three short years the
lake was essentially full again. Such is the boom / bust nature of the Colorado River.
Keeping Our Beaches Clean
With the drought have come opportunities to
clean beaches not exposed for decades and the chance to remove large debris and sunken
Steve Ward, Friends Chairman, reminds boaters to keep Lake Powell clean.
Lake Powell experience. We want all boaters to enjoy Lake Powell and we need your help to keep it
We are proud of our beaches and the quality of the
Floating restrooms are available for day use. Overnight campers are required to use
porta-potties or on-boat restroom facilities. It goes without saying that food scraps and
camp litter belong in garbage bags, not on the sand.
The combination of clean water, beautiful beaches and rock formations, and unlimited
recreational activities make Lake Powell a premier family destination, says
SPECIAL THANKS TO JIM CROSS
A large scale operation to remove sunken vessels was instigated by Jim
Cross, president and founder of Cross International Search and Recovery Foundation.
The Cross family has a
long history with Glen Canyon. Cross father, John L. Cross Sr.,
began leading Explorer Scout groups down the Colorado and through Glen Canyon in 1945,
using 10-man assault boats hed acquired from U.S. Army surplus.
Between 1945 and 1947 he took 380 people through Glen Canyon, Jim Cross said of his father, who
passed away this past year. That was more than all the other groups that had gone
through at that time. Jim and his father floated Glen Canyon together. I was pretty young, but
I remember every bit of it.
As someone who has seen Glen Canyon both in its original, natural state and with
Lake Powell, Jim Cross says he totally supports the
creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The equation in my book is that many more people can come and enjoy the geology and
the canyon with the recreation area here, he said. I, for one, am very glad
weve had the water resources here through the last five or six years of drought. I
think the current situation is one in which people can really enjoy it. It has many
benefits. Im happy its here.
If you would like to financially support this volunteer effort, contact the Friends of
Lake Powell for further information.
Comment Period to 'Slow the Flow' Is Open
New Criteria and Management Strategies For Conserving
Reservoir Levels During Drought Conditions Are Sought
As promised back in May, Secretary Norton has opened a public
comment period to revise reservoir operations and develop criteria for conserving water
resources during times of drought. Presently, the Bureau of Reclamation has operating
criteria associated with normal and surplus designations but no
shortage criteria exist that would reduce water deliveries during periods of
extreme drought and low reservoir levels.
The Friends of Lake Powell support the concept of developing new
reservoir management strategies. One beneficial change would be to redefine the Upper Basin
water delivery schedule and base it on a 10-year rolling average, as was originally
specified in the 1922 Colorado River Compact. We believe that shortage
criteria should be established for Lake Mead and Lake Powell when their capacities fall
below 50% of capacity.
One concept is that when a 'shortage' is declared, the Upper Basin
could reduce outflows from Glen Canyon Dam for so long as compliance with the 1922 Compact
delivery could be maintained. Presently, the Upper Basin releases additional water to the Lower
Basin during times of 'surplus' yet the Upper Basin receives no offsetting credit for
these water deliveries during times of drought.
With the establishment of shortage criteria, water delivery
schedules from Glen Canyon Dam could be modulated lower during droughts and higher during
surpluses. This would help stabilize the level of the Lake Powell. More efficient
reservoir operation would help prevent overflowing spills in the wet years and slow the
drawbown during severe droughts that could jeopardize hydroelectric power production.
Comments to the Secretary should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 31, 2005.
you, Tiff, for making a difference!
DrainIt environmental groups
are proclaiming the end of Lake Powell and want to create a new National
A couple of weeks later these
illegal commercial trips were halted.
Friends of Lake Powell P.O. Box 7007
Page, Arizona 86040
Meet Our New Colorado Director
The Friends of Lake Powell are pleased to introduce Tiff Mapel as our new Colorado
Director. Tiff has enthusiastically enjoyed Lake
for the past 20 years. She is an educator and a journalist and was instrumental this past
year in helping the Friends of Lake Powell host community forums in Durango
Tiff also is a proud volunteer in the ARAMARK volunteer Trash Tracker program. Recently,
her volunteer efforts with rewarded recently with a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with
Secretary of the Interior, Gail Norton, as she announced winners in the 2004 National
Take Pride in America Awards.
In a speech, Norton described how the The cornerstone of Take Pride in America
is the belief that individuals need to be engaged to take responsibility for improving
their community environment. At Interior we call it 'cooperative conservation', and Take
Pride's award-winning volunteers are helping to turn this philosophy into action,
Since 1989, the Trash Tracker Program has helped keep the shores of Lake
debris-free. Thank you, Tiff, for making a difference!
Drain-it groups have continued to stay active. The severe drought has renewed their hope
for draining Lake Powell and the national media has given them a free propaganda ticket to
spread misinformation. Articles bemoaning Lake Powell appeared in the New York Times, the
Washington Post, the LA Times, and the Chicago Tribune, and on TV broadcasts such as ABC
News and Nightline,
Their political goals are the total abandonment of Lake Powell and
the creation of a new Glen Canyon national park. To aid their effort, they are considering
legal protections for what they call sacred sites and emerging
endangered species habitat. These environmental groups have money, paid staff, free
time on their hands and a nationally organized network of environmental support to keep
their propaganda machine going. It is their full time religion to hate Lake Powell.
Lake Powell Doom and Gloom
groups have proclaimed the end of Lake Powell saying it will never significantly rise
again. Its their fantasy wish, of course, to see Lake Powell drained. They cheer the drought. But they
underestimate how severe the existing drought has been and how quickly Lake Powell
will respond to normal snowpack and river conditions. The short term trend for Lake Powell
is up and, while not likely, we are now just one super winter from filling the
Loose With the Facts
The drain-it groups claim that Lake Powell loses more the evaporation
than Lake Mead while the reverse is actually true. The fact is that Lake Mead sits over
2,500 feet lower in the hot Mojave Desert and evaporates at a 5% rate. Evaporation is
actually less at Lake Powell due to its narrow configuration and cooler temperatures.
Was it drought or increased water demand that lowered the level of Lake
Powell? Environmentalist blame people and increasing water demand while federal
hydrologists make reference to driest, five consecutive years in a century of record
keeping. The truth is that water demand on the
Colorado River has been steady or actually declining during the drought.
NPS Yanks Permit for GCI Disguised Commercial Tours
When declining lake levels this spring revealed the lower portions
of the Cathedral in the Desert, the Glen Canyon Institute was eager to guide paying
customers across Lake Powell to see the sights. They obtained a phony cleanup permit from
the National Park Service at Glen Canyon and began taking paying customers to Cathedral in
the Desert in the disguise of a volunteer cleanup program.
The Friends of Lake Powell wrote a letter of protest to the National
Park Service and a couple of weeks later these illegal commercial trips were halted.
Go it Alone with Just Lake Mead?
Even though we are in the
grips of the worst drought in one-hundred years, the drain-it groups want to take Lake Powell away from the Upper Basin
and reduce storage on the Colorado River by over 40%. Lake Mead is enough they say, forgetting
that prior to Lake Powell, Lake Mead suffered huge fluctuations and that was before the
Upper Basin had developed much of their water allocations.
acknowledge that we have survived the present drought largely because of water stored at Lake Powell.
Releases from Lake Powell have kept Lake Mead reasonably full and the Lower Basin operating with
water surpluses all through the drought.
Friends of Lake Powell Announce Annual
Your annual membership provides important funds that give Lake
Powell a voice!
We are now offering three levels of annual memberships:
$50 - General membership (newsletter and members discount
$100 Friends Patron (includes subscription to Lake Powell
$500 and up Premier Donor (includes above items and more
importantly it allows our organization to grow and fund new projects)
mission is to defend Lake Powell and to promote and preserve the outstanding Lake Powell
rely on membership dues to offset operational expenses and keep our office open. With your
donation we can respond to national media and educational requests, host community forums,
develop and distribute educational materials, and promote the Friends of Lake Powell at
regional boat shows and other public functions.
your help we can keep SPEAKING UP FOR LAKE POWELL!
Friends of Lake Powell, Inc. is a 501.c.3 organization.
Mailing Address ____________________________________________
City, State. Zip Code ________________________________________
Email Address _____________________________________________
Membership Level ____ General ____
Friends Patron ____ Premier Donor
Mail your check to: P.O. Box 7007, Page, Arizona
Friends of Lake Powell,
or make your donation on line at www.lakepowell.org/page_two/join_us/join_us.html