PAGE, Ariz. -- It was another morning of chasing the water at Lake Powell. Jeff Wilson strained to adjust a floating dock to keep up with the swiftly rising level of one of the nation's biggest reservoirs.
This was supposed to be yet another dry year on the Colorado River system, which feeds Lake Powell and sustains more than 25 million people and upward of 3 million acres of farmland. Some Western states even feared cuts in water deliveries were looming.
Instead, so much snowmelt and storm runoff flowed into the river and its tributaries that for much of the summer Powell rose a foot a day. The reservoir now is 76 percent full, and its surface has reached the highest point in a decade, dramatically shrinking the white bathtub ring of mineral salts that had ominously marked the lake's retreat.