Environmental teams are nameing on the federal authorities To restore the plumbing at Glen Canyon Dam. They are saying as Lake Powell water ranges proceed to drop, it’s not simply hydropower people Want to be apprehensive about, However in addition water shipy To diminish Basin states.
An evaluation from Utah Rivers Council, Glen Canyon Institute and Good Basin Water Community finds that if water ranges at Lake Powell drop about one other 100 ft, Decrease Basin states Might be not In a place to get their full allocation of Colorado River water.
Presently, the reservoir is at 3,536 ft.
Zach Frankel, authorities director of Utah Rivers Council, said important, but antiquated, mechanisms on the dam are too extreme up And will quickly be ineffective.
“The water current Inside the Colorado [River] for some 30 million people downstream Relies upon on the Greater Basin using these river outlet works to ship this essential water current to this inhabitants,” he said.
The teams need Congress To current emergency funding to the Bureau of Reclamation To consider The drawback.
The report states penstocks, or metallic tubes that carry water to the turbine, are at an elevation Of three,470 ft. They’re how water Is usually shiped To diminish Basin states. About 100 ft under That are smaller tubes referred to as river outlet works, which are The backside water shipy mechanism for the dam, Based mostly on the report. There’s a restricted quantity of water That Can be launched from these retailers, the report said, using information from a 2016 paper from the Center for Colorado River Research.
The teams assert that if water drops under the penstocks and shut to the outlet works, the Colorado River Compact requirement to ship 7.5 million acre-ft of water yearly to Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico Will not be potential.
Courtesy of Utah Rivers Council
Environmental teams launched an evaluation of Glen Canyon Dam in August of 2022. They are saying its antiquated infrastructure Might be A drawback for meeting Decrease Colorado River Basin water calls for.
This all comes As a Outcome of the Bureau of Reclamation has referred to as on the Colorado River basin states To reduce An further 2 to 4 million acre-ft of water. The teams referred to as this ask by the federal authorities “seismic.”
“The urgency Associated to the Bureau’s name To reduce water throughout seven states stems from this plumbing drawback,” Frankel said.
The teams advocate growing river retailers or including bypass pipes — each would enhance how a lot water Might be launched at low water elevations. Eric Balken, The chief director of the Glen Canyon Institute, said people Want to significantly think about Completely different methods to handle the dam.
“Local climate science has been very clear … that the river hydrology is Most probably going to Worsen,” he said. “We now have to have every system out there To deal with this disaster and if The factors at Glen Canyon Dam aren’t addressed quickly, It is going to be dangerous for all stakeholders.”