Sunday, February 22, 2009

To flow or not to flow, the Grand Canyon is in the crosshairs

There is an extensive story in today’s Arizona Republic on the long simmering debate over using the Colorado River as a power source and letting the river flow free.

A new fight erupted in January when a memo from the superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park became public. He claimed that science was disregarded in last years flow release from Glen Canyon and the environmental analysis the worst he’s seen. Environmental groups claim interference by the power generators who use the water to make electricity. [right, jet tubes during high flow experiment. Credit USBR]

In the next weeks the power interests are expected to issue a report on the ecological footprint of Glen Canyon Dam that should show that hydroelectric power is more benign than other power sources.

The Grand Canyon Trust is reviewing a report that is reported to show consumers would pay only 5-15 cents a month more to manage the dam in a way to better protect the canyon.

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