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Southwestern US reservoir to release above-average amount

The federal government plans to release an above-average amount of water from a major reservoir in the Southwestern U.S. this year, but it’s less than many hoped.

The Bureau of Reclamation said Monday it will release 9 million acre-feet from Lake Powell. The water will flow down the Colorado River into Lake Mead, which supplies Arizona, California and Nevada.

Last month, the agency projected it could release 11.1 million acre-feet, but a dry March reduced the amount of snow in the mountains that feed the river.

On average, Lake Powell releases 8.7 million acre-feet annually. An acre-foot can supply two typical homes for a year.

The two reservoirs are part of the Colorado River system, which supplies about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles of farmland in seven states.

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This story has been corrected to show the average annual release from Lake Powell is 8.7 million acre-feet, not 8.23 million

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