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]
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Summary
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

Won't we lose an important water supply?

"Lake" Powell reservoir can store 27 million acre feet of water. That's the equivalent of 27 million football fields (minus the end goals) covered one foot deep in water, or the annual flow of the entire river for two years. Similar to energy supply, there is sufficient storage capacity within the Colorado watershed to meet present and future demand - another 27 million acre feet.

In fact, some water would be gained by draining the reservoir, as an estimated 1.5 million acre feet per year is lost annually due to evaporation from the reservoir and seepage into the surrounding Navajo sandstone. Moreover, an enormous amount of water is wasted through inefficient irrigation. For example, a seven percent reduction of agricultural water use could double the available supply of water for western consumers. Implementing more water-efficient irrigation practices could free up as much as five million acre feet a year, enough to satisfy projected growth needs for some 150 years, about the time the Glen Canyon Dam will have to be decommissioned anyway because of sediment deposition.

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Last Update: July 20, 2004

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Living Rivers    PO Box 466     Moab, UT 84532     435.259.1063     info@livingrivers.org