A look at ‘Fill Mead First’ operations from a supplier point of view #ColoradoRiver

Dry Lake Mead (2010)
Dry Lake Mead (2010)

From TheSpectrum.com (David DeMille):

On Monday, the Washington County Water Conservancy District issued a letter to The Spectrum & Daily News outlining its issues with the Fill Mead First plan. The district argues the method would jeopardize supplies in the upper basin and, if implemented today to fill Lake Mead’s deficiency of 13.81 million acre feet, would completely drain Powell.

“In other words, GCI wants us to surrender enough water to sustain the entire state of Utah’s consumptive use for more than five years,” Ron Thompson, WCWCD general manager, and Dan Christiansen, general manager of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, write in the letter.

Fill Mead First would also threaten the legal allocation rights to upper basin states as outlined in a multistate compact signed in 1922, according to the letter, and could have “catastrophic economic consequences.”

But advocates for Fill Mead First disagreed, saying Monday that they aren’t proposing to drain Lake Powell. Under GCI’s proposal, Lake Powell would be kept close to an elevation of 3,490 feet, high enough to allow for seasonal flow variations, power generation, reservoir-based recreation and flood control…

At a meeting in St. George last week, Denis Strong, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, said Myers’ study depended on inaccuracies in the way seepage is measured. Strong argued that Lake Mead may be a larger offender than Powell because it loses more water to evaporation.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

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