Plumbing Problem at Glen Canyon Dam Brings New Threat to Colorado River System

Plumbing problems at the dam holding back the second-largest reservoir in the U.S. are spurring concerns about future water delivery issues to Southwestern states supplied by the Colorado River.

Damage Found Inside Glen Canyon Dam Increases Water Risks On The Colorado River

Federal officials have discovered damage inside Glen Canyon Dam that could force limits on how much Colorado River water is released at low reservoir levels, raising risks the Southwest could face shortages that were previously unforeseen.

The damage was recently detected in four 8-foot-wide steel tubes — called the river outlet works — that allow water to pass through the dam in northern Arizona when Lake Powell reaches low levels. Dam managers spotted deterioration in the tubes after conducting an exercise last year that sent large flows from the dam into the Grand Canyon.

California Agrees to Long-Term Cuts of Colorado River Water

Bracing for an ever-growing gap between supply and demand of Colorado River water, three Southwestern states today unveiled an agreement that would cut California’s portion by about 10% in most years.

Facing Future of Shortages, Colorado River Users Dream of Making More Water

How does one generate more water in a desert? For Pilar Harris, senior director for corporate social responsibility and government relations at Formula 1, the question arose while she planned for the Las Vegas Grand Prix’s first drag race around the city’s famed Strip.

The West Is Running Out Of Water. A Heavy Snow Could Help, But Will It Come This Winter?

Snowfall forecasts for the West’s mountains are critically important this winter after last year’s unusually heavy snow helped improve the region’s long-simmering water crisis, including conditions at Lake Powell and downstream Lake Mead outside Las Vegas.

Another heavy snow year could help reduce the need for water restrictions and help farmers continue producing irrigated crops such as melons, lettuce and almonds.

Federal Government’s Short-term Colorado River Stabilization Plan Paints a “Rosy” Picture

Colorado scientist Brad Udall spent hours digging — with frustration — through the federal government’s 700-page proposal for managing key dams and reservoirs in the Colorado River Basin over the next three years.

“I just wish they would really simply say, ‘And here’s how the system would perform under these really bad years we’ve seen over the last 23 (years),’” said Udall, senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University. “If they would do that, you would see that this system crashes.”

Opinion: Lake Mead Has a 1-in-4 Chance of Going Low Again by 2026, if We Don’t Do More Now

Now that we’re knee-deep in the long-term process to save the Colorado River, almost no one is asking whether we’ve done enough to stabilize it for the next few years.

A wet winter and billions of dollars in funding already solved that problem, right?

What the Fed’s New Proposal for Management of Colorado River Reservoirs Means

Last week, the Bureau of Reclamation released an updated proposal for the near-term management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Its revised draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) includes a proposal crafted by the Lower Colorado River Basin states — Arizona, California and Nevada — that commits to conserving 3 million acre-feet of water through the end of 2026.

The Water Wars Deciding the Future of the West

On the eastern flank of metropolitan Las Vegas, out past a water park advertising “the world’s largest man-made wave” and a nascent development called Cadence, a red-dirt parking lot teases public access to the system that enabled the past three decades of growth in southern Nevada. Called the Las Vegas Wash, it amounts to a channel that funnels the area’s recycled water back to its aquatic lifeline: Lake Mead.

Next Steps to Protect Stability and Sustainability of Colorado River Basin

The Biden-Harris administration October 25 announced next steps in the efforts to protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System and strengthen water security in the West. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation released a revised draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) as part of the ongoing, collaborative effort to update the current interim operating guidelines for the near-term operation of Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams to address the ongoing drought and impacts from the climate crisis.