The Upper Colorado River Commission approved the 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan, which calls for 500,000 acre-feet of water to be released from Flaming Gorge Reservoir between May 2022 and April 2023 to protect critical elevations at Lake Powell. The Plan will now go to the Secretary of the Interior for final approval.
Utah’s Fox 13 reports that Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which straddles the northeast part of the state and into Wyoming, is at 80% capacity.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board writes, “Developing the 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan is an unprecedented and significant action by the Upper Colorado River Basin states to protect the Colorado River System for all who rely on it. The 500,000 acre-feet to be released from Flaming Gorge Reservoir in the coming year is in addition to the 161,000 acre-feet of water previously released from Blue Mesa and Flaming Gorge Reservoirs,” said Colorado River Commissioner Becky Mitchell. “In total, the Upper Basin has contributed 661,000 acre-feet of water to protect critical elevations at Lake Powell. The Upper Basin States are doing our part to protect the Colorado River System.”
The Upper Basin States include Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah, September 2014, Paul Hermans. Wikimedia Commons.