Problems With Glen Canyon Dam Threaten Water Flowing To Western States

"A new memo from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is raising concern about the infrastructure at the Glen Canyon Dam and its ability to deliver water downstream should levels at Lake Powell continue to decline.

Environmental groups are calling it “the most urgent water problem” for the Colorado River and the 40 million people who rely on it.

Water stored at Lake Powell, the country’s second largest reservoir, typically moves through the Glen Canyon Dam hydropower turbines — the Glen Canyon Power Plant produces about 5 billion kilowatt hours of power each year, distributed to Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Nebraska, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Below the turbines are the dam’s river outlet works, a separate set of steel pipes originally designed to release excess water. If Lake Powell were to drop below the elevation of 3,490 feet, the outlet works would be the only way to convey water through the dam and downstream to the 30 million people and billion-plus dollar industries that rely on the lower Colorado River basin."

Kyle Dunphey reports for States Newsroom April 15, 2024.


"A Plumbing Issue at This Lake Powell Dam Could Cause Big Trouble for Western Water" (Inside Climate News)

Source: States Newsroom, 04/16/2024