Emergency funds sought for retrofit of Glen Canyon Dam

Aug 4, 2022, 8:00 AM
Glen Canyon Dam, Glen Canyon Dam Bridge, Colorado River, Highway 89,  aerial view, Page, Arizona, U...
Glen Canyon Dam, Glen Canyon Dam Bridge, Colorado River, Highway 89, aerial view, Page, Arizona, USA

PAGE, Ariz. — Several stakeholders along the Colorado River are asking Congress for emergency funds to perform a retrofit of the Glen Canyon Dam.

“Climate science has been very clear,” said Eric Balken, executive director of the Glen Canyon Institute. “And it’s clear that the river hydrology is most likely going to get worse. So, we need to have every tool available to address this crisis. And if the problems at Glen Canyon Dam aren’t addressed soon, it’s going to be bad for all stakeholders.”

He says the pipes at the dam are outdated. Balken says without an immediate fix, even with drastic cuts in the Upper Colorado River Basin, the dam won’t be able to provide the water that it is obligated to provide to the Lower Basin states. 

He isn’t the only individual seeking financial assistance from Congress. 

“We’re not engineers,” said Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council. “And if we’re capable of figuring this out, then the Bureau knows all too well what a challenge this is.”

Upper Basin states are obligated to send a minimum amount of water downstream under the terms of a 1922 agreement.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Emergency funds sought for retrofit of Glen Canyon Dam