Living Rivers - Colorado Riverkeeper
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Drought Watch...It's not a matter of if, but when.
The End of Lake Powell Campaign
Analysis of Draining Lake Powell [PDF file]
Campaign Home
Why was Glen Canyon Dam Built?
What lies under "Lake Powell"?
Historic opposition to Glen Canyon Dam
What about hydroelectric loss?
What about the water supply?
What about the sediment?
Why are people concerned about dam safety?
What about the recreation economy?
Dam safety concerns
Decommissoning timetable/costs

What about the sediment?

When Congress approved Glen Canyon Dam it was clear that sediment accumulation would force the decommissioning of the dam within 200 years of its completion. The reservoir won't entirely fill with sediment for 500 - 700 years, but because of significant storage capacity losses and potential safety problems that will materialize within the first 200 years, decommissioning will have to occur much sooner.

In working to restore the Glen, the less sediment that accumulates beforehand the better, which is why advocates are calling for the restoration decision to be taken "now." Although photo documentation and geomorphologic studies have indicated that sediment will be rapidly flushed from the side canyons and the main channel itself, some sediment will have to be removed manually. The sooner this begins the better. Furthermore, the level of pollution and even radioactive material contained in this sediment will require clean-up at some point, again reinforcing the need to act quickly.

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Last Update: July 20, 2004

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Living Rivers    PO Box 466     Moab, UT 84532     435.259.1063