Lake Powell on the Colorado River
© Peter Schaefer/Alam
World Water Day
Lake Powell, which meanders across the Utah-Arizona border, was created when the Glen Canyon Dam was built on the Colorado River in the 1960s. It is one of the two largest reservoirs in the US, alongside its downstream neighbor Lake Mead. Together, they provide water to about 40 million people in seven states, while their respective dams generate crucial hydroelectric power.
But the Colorado River basin has been experiencing its driest period for more than 12 centuries, intensified by climate change. That white line at the base of the canyon walls shows the old high-water mark. Last year, Lake Powell dropped to just over 24% of its full capacity, raising concerns about both water and power supplies.
Globally, about 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. The United Nations created World Water Day in 1993 to highlight the issue and encourage more sustainable water management. As our population increases, it's vital that we all do our part to save precious fresh water.