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Study: Bank seepage a big loss for Lake Powell

SALT LAKE CITY -- Evaporation isn't the only way Lake Powell loses water.

A new study says the reservoir's porous sandstone banks absorb 380,000 acre-feet of water annually from Lake Powell -- as much as Nevada's entire allocation from the Colorado River.

The research by consulting hydrologist Thomas Myers of Reno was published in the June issue of The Journal of the America Water Resources Association.

Myers said lowering Lake Powell could recover some of the bank seepage, but much of it flows away, contrary to earlier belief.

The Glen Canyon Institute said the study adds support for a proposal by environmental groups to fill Lake Mead outside Las Vegas by draining some of Lake Powell.

The Salt Lake City-based group said the transfer would help restore free-flowing waters into Glen Canyon.

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