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Five years of drought have dropped Lake Powell to its lowest level in decades. As a result, many of the colorful canyons and spectacular formations that have been under water for more than 25 years are again exposed for visitors to view.
Some environmental purists are using the current conditions as an opportunity to advance their argument for permanently draining Lake Powell. Without the Glen Canyon Dam, they wistfully believe the vast area would return to its pristine grandeur for the benefit of those few hardy souls willing to endure lengthy hikes or undertake river trips.
As it now stands, more than two million people a year visit Lake Powell. They boat, hike and play in water available for recreation, but stored primarily for the benefit of millions of downstream users.
While a few may talk of draining the reservoir, KSL believes Lake Powell is vital to life and commerce in the arid Southwest. Indeed, the current drought offers dramatic justification for reclamation projects such as Lake Powell.
Eventually, the drought will end. Runoff from winter storms will once again fill the vast reservoir.
Until then, this is a unique time to visit Lake Powell. The half-full reservoir offers a grand opportunity for those inclined, to view some of the sandstone wonders of Glen Canyon that for years have been submerged.