Bureau of Reclamation Director on Need for Flaming Gorge Releases
By Kristin Forbis, Jul 20, 2021
Lake Powell is drying up and Flaming Gorge is one of a few reservoirs releasing water to help the situation but what’s the reasoning behind it all? Wayne Pullan, the Bureau of Reclamation’s regional director, has explained that increasing Lake Powell’s water levels is crucial so the Glen Canyon Dam is able to continue generating power and that the decision to pull from upstream reservoirs is part of an agreement already in place. Pullan told the Salt Lake Tribune that “unlike an earthquake or a fire or a hurricane, it’s not an imminent emergency, but it’s been an emerging situation over many years. Because of the way this has emerged over the years, we’ve been able to have this agreement in place and to be ready to act. There’s been no declaration of emergency. We consider this a response to an emerging, very difficult situation.” Pullan explains that the agreement to share water is from about 100 years ago and has to do with ensuring that water shares in California, Nevada, and Arizona are met by releases from Lake Powell.