/ Modified mar 5, 2022 4:52 p.m.

Lake Powell set to drop below important water level in the 'near future'

The level is nearly too low to generate hydropower.

Lake Powell at sunset The late-afternoon sun on Lake Powell, April 2018.
Vanessa Barchfield/AZPM

Lake Powell is set to drop below an important level in the near future — nearly too low to generate hydropower.

The Bureau of Reclamation calls it the “target elevation” — 3,525 feet.

At that level, there’s a small buffer before water dips too low to generate hydropower at the Glen Canyon dam.

This milestone is an important one for the nation’s second largest reservoir and a sign that more than two decades of drought are pushing the West’s water supply to a tipping point.

Water agencies will take contingency steps to make sure it doesn’t get any lower.

They expect reservoir levels to get back up above target elevation around May, once mountain snow has had time to melt.

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