Colorado River basin reservoirs benefit from heavy snowpack

FILE - In this July 28, 2014 file photo, lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. Water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell are dropping to dangerous levels, reflecting the Colorado River's worsening "structural deficit," scientists said. Scientists from the Colorado River Research Group said Lake Powell has declined because of extra water releases flowing into Lake Mead, the Arizona Republic reported Aug. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Reservoirs around the Colorado River basin are in good shape after an exceptionally wet winter.

The largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are expected to be more than half full this year. They haven’t been near capacity since 1999 when drought took hold of the region.

The worst levels of drought have now disappeared from much of the basin that takes in seven Western states. It’s a dramatic turn from this time last year when parts of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California were extremely or exceptionally dry.

Nevada and Wyoming also rely on water from the Colorado River.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation hydrologist Shana Tighi said Wednesday that one good year won’t erase drought concerns. But she says it buys time for long-term planning.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.