Gov’t Inaction Might Wipe Out A Defining Characteristic Of The Grand Canyon, Environmentalists Say


Colorado River's Horseshoe Bend.
Colorado River’s Horseshoe Bend.
Matt York by way of Related Press, File

Environmentalists say falling water ranges upriver from a dam ― together with its insufficient structure ― may trigger the Colorado River, which flows via the Grand Canyon, to “successfully [dry] up,” The Arizona Republic reported.

A report launched by the Utah Rivers Council, the Glen Canyon Institute and the Nice Water Basin Community is looking on Congress to restore the Glen Canyon Dam.

The dam, which is greater than 50 years previous, is situated alongside the Colorado River and upriver from the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir within the U.S. and a key supply of consuming water within the Southwest.

The Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell, which stands at 3,536 ft above sea degree, an quantity that’s 46 ft away from hitting the minimal degree (3,490 ft) wanted to provide hydropower, based on the newspaper. Nonetheless, if water ranges proceed to drop at Lake Powell, the dam’s infrastructure received’t enable it to carry water downriver and will cut back river movement “to lower than half,” Environment & Energy Publishing said.

The consequences of declining water ranges may influence water supply “to irrigate farms and absolutely provide cities from Phoenix and Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Tijuana,” per The Arizona Republic.

As severe drought grips parts of the western United States, water levels at Lake Powell have dropped to their lowest level since the lake was created by damming the Colorado River in 1963.
As extreme drought grips elements of the western United States, water ranges at Lake Powell have dropped to their lowest degree because the lake was created by damming the Colorado River in 1963.
Justin Sullivan by way of Getty Pictures

The report detailed the dam’s “vintage plumbing,” particularly the pipes under hydropower-generating ranges that weren’t “designed to completely ship giant portions of water.” The pipes can carry a restricted quantity of water via the dam and the environmental teams behind the report described “critical questions” about whether or not they have been able to funneling water long-term.

The teams are calling on the federal authorities to draft methods to revamp the dam.

“We’re as soon as once more in a scenario the place our water leaders’ technique, their plan to cope with shortages, seems to be crossing their fingers and hoping for snow and rain,” Zach Frankel, the Utah Rivers Council’s government director, informed E&E Publishing. “The time has lengthy since handed to have actual significant management on this aridification megadrought.”

Arizona Water Sources director Tom Buschatzke informed The Arizona Republic it might be prudent to research adjustments to the dam’s infrastructure.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an company that oversees the dam, has dedicated $2 million in funding towards discovering methods to proceed to ship water and energy, an company spokeswoman stated.

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