Glen Canyon Dam: Reclamation is considering a high flow release in November for habitat improvement #coriver


From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Lake Powell, the key reservoir in the Colorado River system, ended the 2012 water year at just 57.5 percent of full and will continue to drop through the fall, with a steady release of about 8,000 cubic feet per second scheduled through October.

Despite the low-water year, the Bureau of Reclamation is considering implementing a high-flow regime in November, as part of an effort to mimic natural flood conditions on the great River considered essential for maintaining wildlife habitat and potentially reducing erosion of archaeological sites.

The high flows may also enhance riparian vegetation, maintain or increase camping opportunities, and improve the wilderness experience along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. The protocol is designed to take full advantage of sediment provided by tributaries of the Colorado River as a result of rainstorms and monsoons.

According to BuRec, preliminary sediment estimates appear favorable for a high flow experimental release to occur during the period of November 18 – 25, 2012 should sediment and other conditions warrant.

The total water release for the year from Lake Powell was about 9.46 million acre feet. The inflow during the peak April through July runoff season was just 2.06 million acre feet, which is 29 percent of average and the third-lowest April-to-July period on record, behind 1977 and 2002.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

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