Feds to flood Grand Canyon to distribute sediment

By Felicia Fonseca

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 10:11 a.m. MST

In a Wednesday, March 5, 2008 file photo, water flows from the number one and two jet tubes at the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Ariz. to mimic natural flooding. An abundance of sand in the Colorado River is giving federal officials an opportunity to flood the waterway through the Grand Canyon.

Matt York, Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — An abundance of sand in the Colorado River is giving federal officials an opportunity to flood the waterway through the Grand Canyon.

The high-flow experiment starts Monday and is meant to create beaches for campers and sandbars and to protect archaeological sites. It's scheduled to last five days.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation oversaw a similar flood from Glen Canyon Dam last November. The difference this year is that three times the sediment is available to be pushed through the river. The amount is equivalent to filling a football field-sized hole that is 690 feet deep.

Most of the sediment once deposited throughout the Grand Canyon is now trapped behind the dam near the Arizona-Utah border.

The intent of the flooding is to mimic pre-dam conditions.

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