Where the Colorado River falls from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains into the arid U.S. Southwest, lies Lake Powell. More than 500 feet (150 meters) deep in places and with narrow side canyons, the shoreline of the lake is longer than the entire West Coast of the United States. It extends upstream into Utah from Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam and provides water for Nevada, Arizona and California. But a severe drought in recent years, combined with the tapping of the lake’s water at what many consider to be an unsustainable level, has reduced its levels to only about 42 percent of its capacity, according to the U.S. space agency NASA.
The peak inflow to Lake Powell occurs in mid to late spring, as winter snow melts in the Rockies. But since 2012, snow and rainfall totals have been abnormally low as the region suffered persistent drought. For Reuters, I traveled to the area to document with my cameras the lake as it looks today. I flew over the water, hiked around its shores and shot photos from a boat. FULL REPORT