Category Archives: Glen Canyon Dam

Man-made flush of Grand Canyon..good or bad?


The Washington Post has a very short blurb up about this action which started this morning. It makes it sound like its a good thing. There are however, other writeups like these from the LAT and the Guardian that say it’s not a good thing, and in fact serve the interests of the hydroelectric power company. From the LAT article:

National park officials said that 10 years of research at a cost of $80 million had shown that the flooding as planned could irreparably harm the national park’s ecology and resources.

Grand Canyon National Park Supt. Steve Martin said he was given a day to formulate comments to a cursory environmental assessment of the project. In those comments, he wrote that statements by the Bureau of Reclamation used to justify the flows’ timing were “unsubstantiated.” Far from restoring crucial sand banks and other areas, the flows could destroy habitat, Martin said.

The WaPo writeup on the other hand says only this:

Federal agencies are gearing up to release a manmade flood aimed at refreshing the ecosystem of the Grand Canyon.

A three-day torrent of water will be released from Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona-Utah state line beginning Wednesday morning.

The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon downstream from the dam used to be warm and muddy. But the dam now traps silt and the river runs cold and clear through the canyon. The shift has helped speed the extinction of four fish species.

The agencies including the Interior Department and Park Service hope the flooding will redistribute sediment in the canyon.

Makes you go HMMMM..doesn’t it?

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