Western drought is drying up the largest lakes in the satellite image

Slide right and create a new island. Slide left and go back to a time when the west had enough water to actually fill its lakes.

A self-proclaimed lake freak who currently resides in the European Union likes to teach people about their wilderness by taking before-and-after views of the world’s great bodies of water using satellite photos taken years apart. Catalin Trif and his website lakepedia.com compile a wealth of information on great lakes, and he turned to The Colorado Sun after a seemingly endless series of western drought stories caught his attention.

Trif’s image comparisons allow you to slide right and see how the 22. Slide left on the images below and recreate your favorite cove on Lake Powell or the picnic shore of Blue Mesa.

The images overlay satellite photos taken this August with photos from August four years ago, Trif said.

With this introduction, we let the relentless drought speak for itself.

Lake Powell

The first of the two large storage buckets on the Colorado River, which supplies 40 million people in seven states – plus Mexico! Not to mention a popular boat, hiking, and partying destination for Coloradans.

Blue Mesa Reservoir

That summer, the federal government announced it would drain additional water from Blue Mesa, Flaming Gorge, and other giant reservoirs to keep the pools at Lake Powell and Lake Mead high enough to generate hydropower. Expect more dry sand in future satellite photos.

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Taylor Park Reservoir

We don’t hear much about Taylor Park other than fishing, but after decades of Colorado drought, there is no low tide escape.

Vallecito reservoir

Tucked away in the southwest corner of the state, Vallecito has been heard most often in recent years because of the forest fires in its area. Another place where lower water draws the attention of satellites.

Lake Granby

As the central control point in the Colorado River Basin system, Lake Granby fluctuates for various reasons of water supply and demand.

Green Mountain Reservoir

It looks like some huge beaches have sprung up in Green Mountain, north of Silverthorne and Dillon, in recent years. From here the dammed Blue River continues to the Colorado.

Ruedi reservoir

High above the Roaring Fork Valley, Ruedi is also frequently threatened by forest fires, but can also get through with extra clean water to flow down the Colorado when fish stocks are threatened by low runoffs.

San Carlos lake

San Carlos Lake, one of the larger lakes in Arizona and part of the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, often sways as an irrigation anchor for the region. Sometimes a good satellite comparison is needed to show how strong these fluctuations are in drought years.

Lake Mead

The effects of the drought aren’t quite as visible from the ceiling of this huge canyon-filling pool, but watch out for this space. What happens to Lake Mead in the coming years will bring a lot of news to the West.

Bartlett Lake

As a popular recreational pool near Phoenix these days, Bartlett Lake features a lot more recreational beach and a lot less real boat water.

The Colorado Sun doesn’t have a paywall, which means readers don’t have to pay to access stories. We believe that important information needs to be seen by data subjects, whether it is a public health crisis, investigative reports or legislative accountability.

This coverage depends on the support of readers like you. Invest in an informed community for just $ 5 / month.

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