Tag Archive for: chronic decline

Powell’s Looming Power Problem

Thirty-nine years ago, due to record-breaking snowfall in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Lake Powell rose substantially, catching river managers off-guard. By late June, the reservoir was nearly overflowing, forcing operators — for the first time ever — to rely on the spillways. Instead of giving relief, that precipitated a new crisis, as a phenomenon called cavitation sent shockwaves through the spillways’ innards, tearing through the concrete and then the sandstone, putting the colossal Glen Canyon Dam in peril.