PAGE, Ariz. – Lake Powell recently hit an all-time low: 3,525 feet above sea level.

“Some people call it the eighth wonder of the world, and that’s probably what it is,” said Kenneth Runnels, general manager of Antelope Marina.

Jenna Bree, FOX 13 News

Runnels has been boating Lake Powell since the early 1990s. He says it’s not the same lake it used to be.

“It’s different. It looks different,” he said. “People who come here…they will say how different the water level is and how different the lake looks [from] the way it was before. But the reality is that is what we have today.

This reality is a source of concern for the Bureau of Reclamation.

READ: River levels across Utah hit record highs

“The lower the lake level, the less energy that goes down there, so…we can’t produce as much energy as we can when the lake is deeper,” said division director Gus Levy. Glen Canyon Field from the Bureau of Reclamation. .

The Bureau of Reclamation has a “minimum power” elevation that the water must be at for the dam to produce hydroelectricity.

The water must reach at least 3,490 feet to reach the top of the pipes.

Right now, the water is at 3,523 feet – which the sample says is dangerously low.

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Jenna Bree, FOX 13 News

He says the way we use this precious water resource is unsustainable.

“I think conservation has to be top of mind, and leaders with influence have to come up with plans to use water responsibly,” Levy said.

Data from the Lake Powell Water Database shows water levels were more than 100 feet higher 10 years ago than they are today.

Even in the last year the water levels have dropped 45 feet.

“The biggest thing you notice when you’re sailing is that the scenery you used to see underwater is now above the water,” Runnels said. “And you just have to watch for hazards in the lake that were previously under water that haven’t been noted yet this year.

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Jenna Bree, FOX 13 News

The water is still at least 350 feet deep in most of the main channel — which Runnels says is deep enough for houseboats and anyone who wants to get out and enjoy the lake.

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