Ideas. Stories. Community.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bureau of Reclamation Will Unleash Huge Flood Through Grand Canyon

Bureau of Reclamation

A surge of water will roar through the Grand Canyon the week of November 7th as part of an effort to improve the Colorado River ecosystem.

Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation plan to increase releases from Glen Canyon Dam in a “high-flow experiment” being conducted in conjunction with the National Park Service and other agencies. The experiment includes a peak release of about 36,000 cubic feet per second lasting four days. The high flows will help flush sediment from the river channel in both Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon. The sand will then be redeposited as sandbars and beaches that provide wildlife habitat as well as camping spots for recreationists. Water managers throughout the West sometimes use flushing flows to help offset the effects of dams on natural flow regimes and habitats to which native fish, animals and plants have adapted. The Glen Canyon release is expected to help native fish such as the endangered humpback chub. Recreational users are urged to use caution along the river in both canyons the entire week of November 7th and to remember that peak flows will reach different parts of the canyons at different times. The discharges will not affect the total annual amount of water released from the dam, as later ones will be adjusted to compensate.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
Related Content