Colorado River System Reservoir Status

Current Status: Lake Powell

The unregulated inflow volume to Lake Powell in May was 2,377 thousand acre-feet (kaf) (101 percent of average).  The release volume from Glen Canyon Dam in May was 652 kaf.  The end of May elevation and storage of Lake Powell were 3619 ft (81 feet from full pool) and 13.67 maf (56% of full capacity), respectively.  The reservoir reached a seasonal low elevation on March 15th near elevation 3593.85 feet. Since that time the reservoir elevation has been increasing and will continue to increase throughout mid-summer as runoff from snowmelt and precipitation enter the reservoir.

To view the most current reservoir elevation, content, inflow and release, click on: Lake Powell Data.
To view the most current reservoir elevation projections, click on: Lake Powell Elevation Projections.
To view the 2017 progession of snowpack above Lake Powell, click on Lake Powell Snow Chart.
To view the current inflow forecast relative to past inflows, click on Lake Powell Inflow Forecast

Current Operations

The operating tier for water year 2017 was established in August 2016 as the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier.  The April 2017 24-Month Study established that Lake Powell operations will be governed by balancing for the remainder of water year 2017.  Under balancing, the contents of Lake Powell and Lake Mead will be balanced by the end of the water year, but not more than 9.0 maf and not less than 8.23 maf shall be released from Lake Powell.  Based on the most probable inflow forecast, this May 24-Month Study projects a balancing release of 9.0 maf in water year 2017.  Reclamation will schedule operations at Glen Canyon Dam to achieve as practicably as possible the appropriate total annual release volume by September 30, 2017.

In June, the release volume will be approximately 750 kaf, with fluctuations anticipated between about 9,000 cfs in the nighttime to about 15,000 cfs in the daytime and consistent with the Glen Canyon Operating Criteria (Federal Register, Volume 62, No. 41, March 3, 1997).  The anticipated release volume for July is 850 kaf with daily fluctuations between approximately 9,500 cfs and 17,500 cfs.  The expected release for August is 900 kaf with daily fluctuations between approximately 10,000 cfs and 18,000 cfs.

In addition to daily scheduled fluctuations for power generation, the instantaneous releases from Glen Canyon Dam may also fluctuate to provide 40 megawatts (mw) of system regulation.  These instantaneous release adjustments stabilize the electrical generation and transmission system and translate to a range of about 1,200 cfs above or below the hourly scheduled release rate.  Under system normal conditions, fluctuations for regulation are typically short lived and generally balance out over the hour with minimal or no noticeable impacts on downstream river flow conditions.