Media Advisory: High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam

Media Contact: Marlon Duke, 801-524-3774, mduke@usbr.gov
Lee Traynham, 801-524-3752, ltraynham@usbr.gov

For Release: October 29, 2018

Glen Canyon Dam with all four bypass tubes open.
Glen Canyon Dam with all four bypass tubes open.
PAGE, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation, under the direction of the Department of the Interior, will increase water releases from Glen Canyon Dam beginning on Monday, November 5, 2018 and ending November 8. This release is in support of a high flow experiment (HFE) in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. Releases will begin to increase early Monday morning and will peak at approximately 38,100 cubic feet per second at 2:00 p.m. Flows will continue at that peak for 60 hours to move accumulated sediment downstream to help rebuild eroded sandbars and beaches through Glen and Grand Canyons. These sandbars and beaches are important for life in and along the river.

Reclamation and National Park Service officials advise river users to exercise caution along the Colorado River through Glen and Grand Canyons and the easternmost portion of Lake Mead during the entire week of November 5. Flow level information will be posted online and at multiple locations in both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Note that it will take several hours and up to two days following beginning and end of the HFE for high flow waters to reach and then recede at downstream locations in the canyons, depending on their distance from the dam.

WHAT: High Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam

WHEN: Monday, November 5, 2018; First bypass tube will open at approximately 10:00 a.m. MST, with full bypass at 2:00 p.m. MST. Full bypass will continue for 60 hours.

WHERE: Glen Canyon Dam, US-89, Page, AZ 86040

Members of the media are invited to view the opening of the bypass tubes on November 5, tour Glen Canyon Dam and interview on-site subject matter experts from Reclamation, National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Reporters wishing to view the high flow experiment should contact Marlon Duke (mduke@usbr.gov or 385-228-4845) or Lee Traynham (ltraynham@usbr.gov or 801-524-3752).

This HFE will not change the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases later in the water year will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this experiment. Insights gained from this and previous high flow experiments will continue to assist in the management and operation of Glen Canyon Dam.

Additional information about this high flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. Additional information about projected river flow levels at campsites and other use areas through the Grand Canyon can be found here: https://grandcanyon.usgs.gov/portal/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=13c8070db92046d4ac3825decb1f0ca7.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.