“Brother can you spare 14 million acre feet?”

Paynes Prairie sprung a leak,
Or so the history books tell us …

And Lake Okeechobee didn’t,
No matter what the local papers say.

How is it then that water levels are down 100 feet behind good old Hoover?

(Hint: Think dam not dike.)

This is no lie or legend,
It’s the truth:

Water levels behind Colorado River’s Hoover Dam are down 100 feet from the late 1990s.

Did a sinkhole open there instead?

This isn’t a case of water sneaking out,
But rather of it not getting in:

Not enough snow melt …
Plus a change in the regulation schedule.

It’s not a river you know – but rather a river system – with reservoirs and distribution canals up and down its length.

Prior to Glen Canyon Dam going in the early 1960s (and Lake Powell filling up behind it), the Colorado River sent an annual flow of between 4 and 20 million acre feet through the Grand Canyon.

The modern era has seen it hold mostly steady at just around 9 million acre feet per year.

Lake Mead holds about 28 million acre feet of water when filled
(that’s about 5 Lake Okeechobee volumes),

But currently only stands at about half that.

The West has a lot of places to put water, but not much rain.

Compare that to flapjack flat south Florida:
Lots of rain but no river canyons to store it in!

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