Don't you think that North America should be un-settled, thus reducing the
need for water. The Southwest was just a desert, and those who love deserts
might like to see those lovely waste places restored to their pristine state.
Blow up all the dams. Let the water run free. Let Mother Nature govern her
domain. Humans, get lost. You don't belong here. Go home to Europe and
Asia. I just love the free thinking of environmentalists. tsk! tsk!
HYDRO DAMS are eco-friendly in that they don't pollute. Yes the Glenn
Canyon area is now under water but storing water from the Rocky Mountains is a
smart thing for any civilized society to do. The Mormon pioneers were all about
damming and storing water and wouldn't have survived without it in the arid
west. There are always trade offs with energy production - the pro's out
weigh the con's by a long shot. Remove the wattage generated by these BIG
hydro dams and watch Vegas and LA dry up and blow away.
So the article isn't written in a way that effectively presents the facts,
but the truth is that moving the water from lake powell into mead would save
well over 250,000 Acre-Feet of water per year. most people don't realize
lake powell is only a bank account for us in the upper basin to insure we give
the lower basin our required 8.XX MAF/year. neither reservoir will ever be full
again, and if there is a situation where we have enough water, fine fill the
glen, but don't hold your breath for it. for now it makes little sense. the
BOR projects within the next 20 years the dam will be at dead-water anyway and
the bank seepage problems with lake foul are immense. I encourage everyone to
look past emotions to the facts before making your judgement on this issue.
I think it was 3rd grade science where I learned that water is a closed system.
We don't lose water. It evaporates and is reformed in clouds and comes
down as rain or snow. The water that seeps into the ground isn't lost, it
refills aquifers. Why this article wasn't in the opinions sections is
anybodys guess. An article should contain facts and this article has none at
In economics there is a phrase, the irreversibility of a bad decision. Draining
Lake Powell would be one of these. As man is presented problems, he has to solve
them. Most of the major dams in the West were solutions to a problem. There
are no problems that would be soloved by draining the major dams. Draining
would only solve the egos of the environmentalists.
Probably the most important phrase in this whole article is "With the West
rapidly growing, we cannot afford to lose this water in the arid Southwest."
This could not be a more true statement. Many people in the Colorado Basin are
completely unaware that we use more water than actually flows down the Colorado
River each year - 1 million acre feet more (enough for all of Los Angeles). The
only reason this has been possible is because we can draw water from dams. But
if we continue to use more water than flows and persist in storing water in
wasteful facilities, the reservoirs will fall even faster (Lakes Powell and Mead
are both just over half full - they were completely full 10 years ago). This
problem will only get worse as most scientists now agree that the current
weather patterns in the Colorado Basin (what we call a drought) are actually a
return to normal conditions. We have to find a way to manage our water better in
the West. Draining Lake Powell and filling Lake Mead is a plausible solution.
Lake Powell is just unused upper basin water anyway.
@SamHill (and everyone else who said the facts were incorrect) many of the
statements made in this article are actually right on par. Lake Powell is a
tremendous hazard to the environment and does significantly add to the
West's water shortage. Glen Canyon Dam traps 99% of sediment found in the
Colorado River. That sediment is vital to the fragile ecosystems of the Grand
Canyon and beyond - it is now difficult to create beaches and sandbars, natural
habitats for the fish and wildlife that used to thrive in that area. The water
loss figures are also accurate when Lake Powell is at full pool. Removing the
dam might not be a viable option, but storing water in better ways would be. In
fact, a study was just completed that said if all of the water that was
currently stored in Lake Powell was instead stored in Lake Mead, the west would
save nearly a half million acre feet of water every year - that's more than
Nevada's allotment for several years.
Braden, this discussion has been going on for some time. On one side are a tiny
minority of people like you and on the other side is the rest of the public.
Some of your reasons for draining Lake Powell are not supported by actual data.
Some of your stated benefits are modest at best. For example you state that we
are: "deprived of the ... natural beauty of the Colorado River." That
fact is that far more people enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Powell than would
ever enjoy the Colorado River if the dam were removed. Excuse the pun, but the
reason you and like minded people have been unable yo win the public over is
because your arguments don't hold water.
A couple of fact checks.The dam produces power by taking clean water
from high in the reservoir and dropping it hundreds of feet down to the
turbines. Sediment collects on the bottom of the reservoir, primarily where the
rivers enter -- very little sediment makes it to the dam.The
generators produce as much power now as ever in the past, so it is highly
doubtful that "energy experts" conclude that the dam's energy
production is insignificant.Draining the reservoir would cause more
environmental problems than keeping it. The lake has become a massive habitat
for birds, animals, and fish. The sediment and calcium deposits, if exposed,
would be tremendous eyesores, flood hazards, and landslide hazards for decades
to come. The flood control provided by the dam would be gone.Yes,
we lose a lot of water from Lake Powell. But focusing too narrowly on that
problem does not produce a desirable solution. But perhaps there is a maximum
desirable water level for the lake that would balance the many problems.
Will someone please tell me why the greenies use conjecture and no facts to
support their thoughts. I would say that volcanoes around the world pollute more
than humans empirically speaking. Yes, let's just return to our covered
wagons and candle power. We hear the same old left mantra every year. How
about some new thought.
Don't get me wrong, I want to see the Colorado River once again flow to its
end in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California), but emptying Lake Powell
isn't going to do it. In a dry spell as we've had in the West,
wouldn't eliminating Lake Powell do more harm than good?I
believe that Lake Powell came about because of further regulation of the
Colorado River. The water levels at Lake Mead would be even more at the mercy of
the Colorado River if not for Lake Powell, if I'm not mistaken.I believe, even through intelligence and technology (which we unfortunately
haven't done enough of), that we can be stewards of the planet--researching
and finding cheap ways to desalinate ocean water and cut the use of Colorado
River water by Southern California significantly, and getting the most use out
of every drop we take. We can also increase, through proper wastewater
treatment, the amount we treat and put back. At least that's my thought on
"Energy experts now suggest the Glen Canyon Dam is not a significant power
source." Then why, according to the below sites, is the output of the GCD
roughly 3/4 that of Hoover Dam (3.45 to 4.2 Billion kWh per year) per the US
Bureau of Reclamation*?I don't understand why Lake Powell gets
so much of the brunt. Here's the dialogue from a "keeper" when they
approach a "drainer" on the subject of LP that is very plausible:You want to drain Lake Powell? Why not just let the Colorado run free
from source to mouth and get rid of Lake Mead, Mohave, Havasau, etc. while
we're at it? What's that, you say? You're from Southern
California? You like going to Las Vegas, too? Where do you get most of your
water from? The Colorado? You need those Colorado River reservoirs to stay where
you are? Ironic...I guess we aren't so different after all.*Comment format doesn't like links, as far as I know.
The dam is already there. Removing it is not likely to happen any time soon.
Might as well focus on more productive lines of thought. Besides, hydropower
doesn't pollute the environment. @Demo Dave: we are famous
for being a self-appointed superior species??? More like self-evident. Also
not too sure which species would recognize our fame. Though I suspect the Bos
primigenius I had for dinner didn't realized how famous he makes my
@ No ONe Of Consequence: "The changes we make to the environment are
legitimate parts of that environment." As someone who cares
deeply about the natural world (yes, you can call me an environmentalist), I
find statements like yours to be reflective of the very self-appointed species
superiority that we humans are famous for. In truth, we have a greater
responsibility as stewards of the planet than we ought to have for our own mere
comfort and convenience. If clean energy costs more than dirty energy, so be it.
We have exceeded our right for dominance to the point where are now literally
responsible for every other living thing on earth. We get to choose what lives
and dies, what remains and what goes extinct. It's time we took that
@ KDave: That's a little dramatic, isn't it? How about applying some
logic instead of so much sophistry.
Why does every environmentalist solution come with economic devastation, higher
cost of living for the little guy and reduction of food production? All of these
would be the result of removing any of the dams on the ColoradoWhether the earth was created for the use of man or man evolved here, man is
part of the environment. Bees build hives, beavers build dams, man builds things
too. The changes we make to the environment are legitimate parts of that
environment.Man and man's stuff belong here.
What utter nonsense.From start to finish, this rant has one
incorrect "fact" after another.It's amazing to me that
such ridiculous blather continues, year after year, despite all the refutations
“This change can only be made by the people it affects most, the citizens
deprived of the water and natural beauty of the Colorado River.”There are low-lying countries in the Pacific that consist of atolls that only
rise a few feet above sea level that are under threat from rising sea levels
caused in part by global warming. I think that they would be affected more than
the citizens deprived of the natural beauty of the Colorado river. They should
have a say also.
If what environmentalists tell us about global warming is even half true,
getting rid of Glenn canyon dam is the last thing we would want to do. This dam
produces pollution free electricity. If the dam stopped producing this
electricity, generators burning either natural gas or coal would have to replace
it. According to environmentalists, this would make global warming worse.This would also increase the cost of the electricity, thus hurting our
This is an argument that has been going on for the past three decades.
Originally the dams across the Colorado were there to save the down stream areas
from flooding and destorying crops. While hydro electric dams are affected by
setiment the solution is not to get rid of the dam, but to reomove the setiment.
The argument of restoring the river back to its original state would bring many
That had to be one of the dumbest "articles" I have ever read.....what
would be gained by having the majority of the Colorado River basin runoff not
get stored in some manner so the usage can be extended throughout the months
when the runnoff is not there like this year. Oh yeah...let's let
California store it down there. I guarantee they would figure out some way to
build damns and reservoirs before it got to the ocean. The snow falls in the
Rocky Mountain states and they shoould be the ones that determine what happens
to the water. Let California figure out how to get water out of the Pacific
Ocean....The middle east has some of that figured out already.
Yes, we should try to live like wild animals, who drown in floods and die of
thirst in droughts. Or we can use our god-given intelligence to better
If we lose our water to the Green river pipeline, and oil shale development
there will be a lot less water going in to Powell. If you add a couple of more
drought years, the dam will just be a interesting stop in the desert.