by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The residents of seven western US states may shortly be subjected to restrictions on water consumption as the water level in the Lake Powell reservoir continues to fall, Just the News (JN) reports.
Lake Powell supplies millions of people not only with drinking water but also with electricity from the hydroelectric plant at the Glen Canyon dam.
In a letter dated April 8 the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science for the US Department of Interior, Tanya Trujillo, warned the governors of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming downstream water flow may have to be limited if the water level in Lake Powell falls below 3,490 feet msl.
“In such circumstances, Glen Canyon Dam facilities face unprecedented operational reliability challenges, water users in the Basin face increased uncertainty, downstream resources could be impacted, the western electrical grid would experience uncertain risk and instability, and water and power supplies to the West and Southwestern United States would be subject to increased operational uncertainty,” Trujillo wrote.
Explaining the impact on the Navajo Nation as well, Trujillo said: “In addition, should Lake Powell decline further below elevation 3490 feet, we have recently confirmed that essential drinking water infrastructure supplying the City of Page, Arizona and the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation could not function.”
Trujillo goes on to suggest that the agency could preemptively limit the amount of water released downstream to 7 million acre-feet: nearly 7% reduction in the “water year” that ends in September, JN said. The states have until April 22 to respond to the suggestion.
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