Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming will release 500,000 acre-feet of water under a new Drought Operations Plan to help prop up dangerously low water levels at Lake Powell.

The Plan, approved Thursday by the Upper Colorado River Commission, does not call for any water to be released from Blue Mesa west of Gunnison but also does not rule out the possibility of that being an option in the future.

The 2022 Drought Operations Plan, agreed on by the four Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah will now go to the secretary of the interior for final approval. The amount of water released at Flaming Gorge will equate to a 15-foot drop in the water level at that reservoir which is a major component of southwest Wyoming’s recreation economy.

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