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A set of four tubes known as the 'river outlet works' allow extra water to flow through the Glen Canyon Dam. The flows are designed to take advantage of wet years and help wildlife habitats downstream.

An extra pulse of water was sent through the Grand Canyon, part of a Bureau of Reclamation “high-flow experiment” designed to redeposit sediment from Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona, and in response to above average spring snowmelt forecasts in the Rocky Mountains. Read more»

The federal government has historically stayed out of Colorado River negotiations, but has expanded its role in recent years to protect its dams and reservoirs, such as Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell, which has recently fallen to historic lows.

Senators from the seven Western states in the Colorado River basin - including Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly - have been quietly meeting “for about a year,” to facilitate difficult discussions between the states over the future of the river. Read more»

Historically low levels at Lake Powell - seem here  in this November 2022 photo - could threaten Glen Canyon Dam’s ability to generate hydropower, one of the reasons the government had been releasing water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir upstream.

The federal government has halted releases from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir that were meant to prop up water levels at Lake Powell downstream, as heavy snows allowed the Bureau of Reclamation to end releases two months earlier than originally planned. Read more»

A skier cruises down Snowmass ski area, where January brought heavy snow to the mountains that supply the majority of the Colorado River’s water. Scientists say this could provide a temporary boost to shrinking reservoirs.

Recent data show a snowy start to 2023 for the Colorado River basin, with heavy winter precipitation in the Rocky Mountains projected to boost spring spring runoff - but not enough to fix the Southwest’s long-term supply-demand imbalance. Read more»

Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico are asking the federal government to pause some releases from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which straddles the border between Wyoming and Utah. The reservoir, pictured here in 2021, is the third-largest in the Colorado River system.

Four states in the upper basin of the Colorado River have asked the federal government to pause water releases from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir that were aimed at propping up falling water levels downstream at Lake Powell. Read more»

The power plant in Glen Canyon Dam generates electricity for about about 5 million people in seven states. Hydropower turbines within the dam may have to be shut off if water levels behind the dam in Lake Powell drop further.

Water levels in Lake Powell dropped to a record low Tuesday, with continued pressure from climate change and steady demand pushing the nation’s second-largest reservoir to the lowest level since it was first filled in the 1960s. Read more»

More than two thirds of the Colorado River begins as snow in Colorado, but warm temperatures and dry soil are steadily reducing the amount of snowmelt that makes its way into the river, which supplies water to 40 million people across the Southwest.

The West has been slammed by wet weather this winter: Good news for the Colorado River, where all that moisture hints at a possible springtime boost for the reservoirs that have been crippled by drought - but many more years of heavy snow are needed to make a serious dent. Read more»