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The Grand Canyon won't get flooded this year. It's too risky for Lake Powell

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 10:29am
Updated: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 1:24pm
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Since the creation of Glen Canyon Dam, the government routinely floods the Grand Canyon Basin to mimic the flow of the Colorado River.

But the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has decided against doing that this year, despite a wet monsoon.

With the available amount of sediment, flooding would help create beaches for campers and sandbars for fish. 

But that would drop Lake Powell's water levels by about 2 feet, which the bureau says is risky, considering the lake is more than 150 feet lower than if it were full. 

This would add to losses in hydropower, where the dam is already struggling. Officials said it would also send non-native fish downstream. 

The last time the Bureau decided against flooding at Glen Canyon was in 2015 to stop the spread of an invasive species of fish. 

The Hualapai Tribe, which has land along portions of the Grand Canyon, says they were not consulted in the decision.

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