The West Is Running Out Of Water. A Heavy Snow Could Help, But Will It Come This Winter?

Snowfall forecasts for the West’s mountains are critically important this winter after last year’s unusually heavy snow helped improve the region’s long-simmering water crisis, including conditions at Lake Powell and downstream Lake Mead outside Las Vegas.

Another heavy snow year could help reduce the need for water restrictions and help farmers continue producing irrigated crops such as melons, lettuce and almonds.

How California Reservoir Water Levels Will Change, According to Predictions

Many of California’s reservoirs are far above their average capacity, but water levels are expected to change as the winter season progresses.

The U.S. Southwest has suffered from years of drought, and until recently, the most severe impacts have been centered around Lake Mead and Lake Powell and much of California. Last year, none of California was free from drought, and more than 16 percent of the state suffered from exceptional drought, which is the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) most extreme classification.

California’s Reservoirs Above Historic Averages as Fall Approaches

As the final days of summer near, California’s reservoirs are in a position they have not been in for some time, they still have a significant amount of water in them.

As of Thursday, all but Trinity Reservoir near Redding and Casitas near Ventura, are at or above their historic average levels, according to the California Department of Water data exchange.

The Colorado River is Significantly Declining Due to Climate Change

The Colorado River is an artery that pumps millions of gallons of water to tens of millions of people in the Southwestern United States. And as much as the river divides and segments the land it runs through, it also connects.

Rainfall and Lake Mead Water Levels, Explained

When it comes to Lake Mead’s water levels, even the biggest storms that hit Las Vegas aren’t much of a factor.

The Las Vegas Valley saw a deluge of water from a series of monsoonal storms that moved in Friday and that dumped more than an inch of rain in a matter of days. While it seems like such a torrent of water would provide a substantial boost to Lake Mead, that just isn’t the case.

Inside a Plan to Completely Drain Lake Powell

Lake Powell will cease to exist if one group’s plan to restore Glen Canyon as the “heart of the Colorado River” comes to fruition.

An above-average snowfall and excessive precipitation in the spring have bolstered the water levels at Lake Powell and Lake Mead, but Glen Canyon Institute Executive Director Eric Balken told Newsweek that he doubts that Lake Mead will ever return to full capacity

Deadpool Diaries: Mid-July Colorado River Status Report

When last we visited, Lake Mead sat at elevation 1,054.28 feet above sea level. It’s now at 1,058.34, which is up ~13 feet from when I took the above photo last December. I hope they moved those chairs. The good news is the current forecast calling for the combined storage of Lake Mead and Lake Powell to end the water year up nearly 5 million acre feet from a year ago. The bad news is that total identifiable water use reductions in this year of chaotic crisis fire drill total just 1.2 million acre feet, according to the Bureau of Reclamation’s July 14, 2023 forecast.

City Will Remain in a “Stage 2 Water Shortage Level” Despite Recent Wet Winter

Council voted unanimously to continue the 20 percent reduction in water use per the 2020 Water Shortage Contingency Plan last week despite an abnormally wet winter that pulled much of the state out of drought. The decision was part of the Annual Water Shortage Assessment Report that is due each year by July 1 to the California Department of Water Resources and also requires formal adoption by Santa Monica City Council.

Lakes Powell, Mead Levels Rise as Government Plans Future Water Rules

A year after Lake Mead dropped to a historic low, the U.S. government’s Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation have announced the beginning of the process to develop a new plan to deal with the changing water levels in reservoirs along the Colorado River. To do this it is setting up three public input meetings online where people can voice ideas and concerns.

Graphs Show Rise in Lake Mead’s Water Levels

Lake Mead’s levels have risen as planned, after a large amount of water was released from the Glen Canyon Dam.

The Glen Canyon Dam forms Lake Powell, the huge Colorado River reservoir that lies between Arizona and Utah.