Posted on November 20, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Federal water managers simulate flooding flows in Colorado River
Bypass valves open to release a huge surge of water into the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Photo courtesy Bureau of Reclamation.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Water may be in short supply in the West this year, but that didn’t stop federal officials from cranking open the valves of Glen Canyon Dam to unleash what’s unromantically being called a high-flow experimental release. The release won’t change the overall water balance in the Colorado River system, as adjustments are made at other times.
The five-day high-flow regime will lower Lake Powell by up to 2.5 feet in just a few days and send more than 42,000 acre feet of water surging through Glen, Marble and the Grand Canyon before it ends up Lake Mead. A detailed FAQ is online here.
This year’s release is the first since 2008 and is intended to rebuild depleted sandbars and beaches. Under the concept of high flow experimental releases, sand stored in the river channel is picked up by high-volume water releases from the dam and re-deposited in downstream reaches as sandbars and beaches. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado River, Glen Canyon Dam, high-flow experimental release, Lake Powell, rivers, water | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 13, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
2011 could turn out to be the second-best year ever for Lake Powell inflows
This Landsat 5 image from a NASA satellite shows Lake Powell on Aug. 6 2010. Click on the image to visit a NASA Earth Observatory website that documents the year-to-year changes in Lake Powell.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Flooding in the high country in early spring and summer may have been a nuisance for some, but in the big picture, it helped push Colorado River inflows into Lake Powell to near record levels. At times, Powell was rising at the rate of about 12 inches per day, bringing the water level up by 50 feet for the runoff season so far.
The Bureau of Reclamation reported that July inflow along totaled about 4.5 million acre feet (278 percent of average), the second-best year since Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963. Only 1995 was wetter, with a total inflow of 4.41 million acre feet in July. Total inflows for the runoff season, April through July, reached 12.9 million acre feet, which is 162 percent of average. June inflow was even higher, totaling 5.4 million acre feet. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, rivers, Snow and weather, Summit County news, water | Tagged: Colorado River, Colorado River Basin, Environment, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Lake Powell water levels, NASA, Summit County News, United States Bureau of Reclamation, water | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 23, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Low flows are one of the biggest threats to the ecological integrity of the Grand Canyon. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PHOTO. Click on the image to visit the NPCA's Flickr photostream.
Conservation groups offer constructive suggestions for mitigating impacts to cherished global icon
*Read a related story on other threats here
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Grand Canyon National Park, an American and global icon, faces serious threats to its most important resources from uranium mining, air pollution and stream depletions, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.
The nonprofit, formed by Stephen Mather in 1916 as a citizen’s auxiliary to the National Park Service, released a new report Monday that identifies critical concerns and offers some strategies to address them.
“We’re trying to speak directly to the American people about how serious these threats are,” said David Nimkin, the organization’s Southwest regional director.
Nimkin said the Grand Canyon provides physical and spiritual recreation for millions of visitors, and also contributes more than $1 billion annually to the regional economy. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado River, Environment, Glen Canyon Dam, Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, National Park Service, Summit County News, United States | 1 Comment »