Reclamation to begin dredging work upstream of Imperial Dam

River users urged to use caution when recreating in the area

Media Contact: Doug Hendrix, 928-580-7878,
Carrie Scott, 928-343-8317,

For Release: February 02, 2021

Yuma, Arizona – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Yuma Area Office announced today it will begin dredging a 50-acre open water area upstream of Imperial Dam within the next two-weeks – following the launch, post assembly testing and fine-tuning of the dredge.

Over the next two years, dredging operations will occur from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., PST, from Monday through Thursday. Dredging operations are not anticipated to occur on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.

In dredging the river at this location, a large, floating barge-type dredge, support boats and a waste pipeline will be used to remove accumulated sediment from the river channel and bank line area directly above the dam. The equipment will be launched from a site near Hidden Shores RV Park, on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, approximately 20 miles north of Yuma, Arizona.

Reclamation does not anticipate closing recreational access to the river near the dredging site, with river use near the work site to be closely regulated. As an additional safety measure, navigational hazards in the river channel and around the dredging equipment will be illuminated at night. Recreational users and watercraft operators are encouraged to exercise extreme caution and to stay clear of all dredging operations. Operational noise is expected to be minimal.

This routine maintenance work is being performed by Reclamation to ensure continued and efficient delivery of Colorado River water through the All-American and Gila Gravity Main canal headworks. These two canals provide water to approximately 600,000 acres of farmland in southern Arizona and the surrounding Yuma municipal area. Approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the site.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.