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Pulling the Plug on Lake Powell

June 22, 2005

Re "Houseboat Heaven: Flush It," Opinion, June 19: So the Colorado River is drying up? That makes it a harbinger of our planet-wide legacy to the future. Cancerous population growth has outstripped Earth's resources. That should not come as a surprise, as we have long known that we cannot replace what we are destroying. Time is no longer on our side. Progress has become a lie. Consumption rather than production has become the driving force. It need not have been so.

Rex Styzens

Long Beach

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I own a 60-foot houseboat on Lake Powell. I bought it in 2000, when the reservoir was full. I go in October, when the crowds are gone, for solitary hiking. The red rock, the blue water -- it was a surreal, and completely silent, place, the world's most beautiful giant bathtub. Then I began to learn what was under that water, and my outrage grew at the arrogance of government officials in the 1950s who condemned an entire ecosystem to death by drowning. But now the side canyons are draining. My hikes are filled with singing birds, lush plant life regrowing, signs of beaver and deer returning. Glen Canyon is alive again.

Drain the reservoir. Store the water in natural underground aquifers. My houseboat would be nearly worthless, but that's OK. I would even stay out of Glen Canyon forever, just to know that that ecosystem has recovered, and with it the downstream habitats in the Grand Canyon.

Crista Worthy

Pacific Palisades

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Wade Graham writes that Lake Powell should be closed because of ground absorption and that there is 70% more evaporation from the water surfaces of Lake Mead and Lake Powell than from just Lake Mead alone. Isn't evaporation where we get clouds and rain? To my knowledge, water is not lost. It flows into rivers, lakes and the ocean, where it evaporates, creating clouds and rain, and it is absorbed into the ground, maintaining the water table.

Bill Simpson

Rancho Palos Verdes

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