Controlled floods, Colorado River beaches, and power generation,
There's an interesting twist to the fight between power generators and environmentalists over the Interior Dept. plans to release water from Glen Canyon dam for controlled floods to replenish sand beaches along the Colorado River. [Right, USGS model of sand replenishment process from "controlled floods"]
NPR's All Things Considered's story about the possible loss of $4 million of electrical generation when the water bypasses the generators notes that when the hydropower is not delivered, customers turn to other electricity sources and in this region, that is often generated by coal and natural gas.
Opponents of fossil fuels for power generation raise concerns about air quality and CO2 releases. How do you balance that against rebuilding sand bars on the Colorado to recreate the natural system?