A 60-hour flood of water is being released from Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in what is supposed to be renewal of the Grand Canyon’s dwindling sandbars, beaches, vegetation, and habitat for rare and endangered fish.
This is the third time such a flood has been created since the giant dam and reservoir was built in the 1960s. The project turned the warm, silt-laden Colorado into a cold and clear river that eroded away the beaches and backwaters during the artificial daily rhythm of generating hydropower.
It was felt that major releases of water every so often would mimic the floods that now longer occured and restore the river, but many who were once-hopeful say the floods have failed because they are too rare and not big enough. Others say no manipulation can restore the river from a dam that should have never been built.
Nevertheless, Secretary of Interior Dirk Kemphthorne is making a big show of the big release of water.
Questions on Grand Canyon ‘Blow Out’, By Mike Nizza. New York Times.