An initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder

Hydroelectric turbine at Glen Canyon Dam photo

Powell’s looming power problem

Drought and demand threaten a critical component of the Western grid as Lake Powell approaches minimum power pool for the first time.
The white ‘bathtub ring’ around Lake Mead, shown on Jan. 11, 2022, is roughly 160 feet high and reflects falling water levels. George Rose/Getty Images

What is dead pool? A water expert explains

Lake Mead and Lake Powell could reach water levels low enough to halt hydropower production.

Two new Colorado River deals give parched Lake Powell temporary relief

Lake Powell will receive 1 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River as a short-term solution to drought, boosting lake levels and protecting hydropower production.

In Vegas, experts eye declining Colorado River flows, electricity woes and federal budget impacts

Millions of dollars are being lost as Lake Powell’s drought-strapped hydropower system fails to produce enough electricity.
Integrated Water Resources Plan land photo

Aspen officials release plan laying out 50 years of water projects

Aspen’s new water resource plan outlines the strategy for creating emergency storage to address threats to existing supplies.

Special Report: As Lake Powell hits record lows, is filling a new drought pool...

Upper Basin states that created their own drought contingency plan still haven’t agreed on the biggest, most controversial element of the plan.
Elk Creek Marina photo

Blue Mesa Reservoir releases to prop up Lake Powell impacting recreation

In an effort to prop up water levels at Lake Powell, water managers are negatively impacting recreation on Colorado’s biggest man-made lake. 
Glen Canyon Dam photo

Electric costs in Colorado set to surge as Lake Powell struggles to produce hydropower

A federal agency aims to offset rising costs linked to Lake Powell’s inability to produce as much hydropower due to drought.
Ruedi Reservoir photo

How low can Ruedi Reservoir go?

Water levels could fall so low this winter that the city of Aspemay struggle to generate power, and water owners could see shortages.
Yampa River photo

Tri-State, Xcel, Colorado eye Yampa River water for “green hydrogen” projects

The Yampa Valley’s existing coal-fired plants have strong water portfolios that could be used to create green hydrogen or another storage technology called molten salt.