Options and Possible Solutions

Mitigating the Environmental Impact of the Glen Canyon Dam


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The Colorado River Delta

   Keep the Colorado River flowing to the Gulf of California

1)  Require that downstream users honor their existing allocation amounts.  Presently, some users like California overdraw on their allocation which reduces the amount of water that flows into Mexico.

2)  Sign a delta restoration agreement with the Mexican Government which would limit the Mexican take of the river to 1.5 million acre-feet per year.   They currently have the capability to withdraw almost 3 million acre-feet which is why on many years no water flows to the gulf.


Restoring Biological Cues in Grand Canyon

Modify the Glen Canyon Dam operations to provide better seasonal cues

1)  Retrofit the Glen Canyon dam so that warmer water can be released during the summer months. 

Read more on about the possible temperature control modifications that the Bureau of Reclamation is considering.

2)  Increase river flows during the month of June


Sand Bar Restoration

Rebuild sand bars on a regular basis using short term mini-floods

1)  Utilize short duration floods (3 days or so) to move sediment up out of the main channel onto the river banks.

2)  Schedule these floods on a regular basis (every 3 years or so) by monitoring the buildup of new sediment brought in by the Paria River and Little Colorado River.

The first effort - 1996 Results

Before and After Pictures