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Dam High Flows About More Than Fish

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Dam High Flows About More Than Fish

Dam High Flows About More Than Fish

The federal government just released 10 times the normal flow of the Green River from Flaming Gorge Dam to help an endangered fish and to boost hydropower downstream at Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona-Utah border.

Environmentalists said they’re happy for the fish, but Lake Powell isn’t the best place to store water. A recent study showed as much as 300,000 acre feet of water stored in the reservoir is lost to ground seepage.

The Glen Canyon Institute’s Eric Balken said Lake Mead near Las Vegas would save more water.

“By filling Lake Mead first we could save a huge amount of water and we could help restore the ecosystem in Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon below,” Balken said.

The Glen Canyon Institute would like to decommission that dam and to restore the natural environment in Glen Canyon.

Dam operators are concerned the decline of Lake Powell due to drought and climate change could jeopardize hydropower generation. Glen Canyon Dam supplies electricity to more than 5 million people in the Southwest.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.