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Glen Canyon Dam Releases Shouldn't Have Long-Term Impact

The Bureau of Reclamation has had to draw water from Lake Powell in order to generate power during the recent heat wave, but the agency plans to make up for it by releasing less water in the future.

Glen Canyon is one of several dams on the Colorado River watershed that can generate power and store water for future use. But the weather has more impact on water storage than emergency power releases, said Marlon Duke, a spokesman for the Bureau.

“So we’re about half full, which is a little lower than where we were at this time last year," Duke said. "We had a really great, well, we had a pretty decent winter going into this year, and then in March and April, things dried out a lot in the Upper Basin, and we lost a lot of that snowpack to evaporation and soaking into the dry soil.”

The sluggish monsoon has not helped either.

“We just haven’t had the storms coming through the Upper Basin to replenish that, so, what started out as a promising year, coming into this year, has turned out to be more disappointing as we got through the late spring and the summer months. It’s been extremely dry.”

Duke says that the Bureau is looking ahead to the late fall and early winter storm season.


Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.