LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lake Powell has been reported to be sitting at 26% of its full capacity, which is its lowest point since it started filling in 1963, according to NASA.
The lake’s elevation level at full pool is 3,700 feet. On Aug. 23, the lake’s surface elevation was measured at 3,533.13 feet, over 166 feet below the full pool.
The lake reached full pool for the first time in 1980.
NASA satellite images show the alarming shrinkage of the lake over the last five years:
The image on the left, captured on Aug. 16, 2017, shows the lake at a level of 3,633.04. The image on the right, captured on Aug. 6, 2022, shows the lake at a level of 3,535.38.
The lake’s lowest level this year was recorded on April 22 at 3,522.24 feet.
The graph above shows the lake’s levels in 2021 and 2022 compared to 2017. Although levels have been increasing from historic lows in April, they are still significantly lower than previous years.
The current drought in the U.S. West marks the region’s driest 22 year stretch in 1,200 years.