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

Why are people concerned about dam safety?

Rivers are permanent; dams are not. Large dam-building technology is not that much older than nuclear power technology. Large dams have failed in the past, and will do so in the future. In 1983 Glen Canyon Dam nearly overtopped and experienced a near catastrophic failure of its spillway tunnels. This could have resulted in severe flooding downstream causing complete draining of the reservoir. The hydrologic conditions that brought this about were far from unique, and will occur again. Furthermore, the porous and erosive Navajo sandstone surrounding the dam may at some point give way itself. In fact, safety concerns about dams are a nationwide problem; three years ago, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US dam inventory a rating of "D" in terms of safety.

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Last Update: July 20, 2004

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Living Rivers    PO Box 466     Moab, UT 84532     435.259.1063