Feds plan high-flow release from Glen Canyon Dam to replenish sandbars, beaches

The outlet tubes of Glen Canyon Dam are opened during a high-flow experiment on the Colorado River, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, March 14, 2004 | Photo by Anne Phillips, USGS, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Reclamation, under the direction of the Department of the Interior, will increase water releases from Glen Canyon Dam Nov. 5-8 in support of a high-flow experiment in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey.

Releases will begin to increase early Monday morning and will peak at approximately 38,100 cubic feet per second at 2 p.m. Flows will continue at that peak for 60 hours to move accumulated sediment downstream to help rebuild eroded sandbars and beaches of the Colorado River through Glen and Grand canyons. The sandbars and beaches are important for life in and along the river, according to a statement from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Reclamation and National Park Service officials advise river users to exercise caution along the Colorado River through Glen and Grand canyons and the easternmost portion of Lake Mead during the entire week of Nov. 5.

Flow level information will be posted online and at multiple locations in both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park.

It will take several hours and up to two days following beginning and end of the high-flow experiment for high flow waters to reach and then recede at downstream locations in the canyons, depending on their distance from the dam.

This high-flow experiment will not change the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases later in the water year will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during the experiment. Insights gained from this and previous high flow experiments will continue to assist in the management and operation of Glen Canyon Dam.

Additional information about this high-flow experiment will be posted and updated online.

Additional information about projected river flow levels at campsites and other use areas through the Grand Canyon can be found here.

The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States and the nation’s second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation and fish and wildlife benefits.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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  • utahdiablo October 31, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Wow, sure glad we have so much water…oh whoops, that’s where the LPP is going to get it’s water from right? ….Oh Dang, hope they don’t run it down too low

  • tcrider November 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Just goes to show you, who is really in charge of the water in Lake Powell.
    What ever happened to that water park and hows that pipeline and Lagoons with developments going?
    So much for the multi state water commission, how much are those guys getting for those meetings?

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