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Glen Canyon Institute

Dedicated to the restoration of Glen Canyon and a free flowing Colorado River.

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Press Release

ProPublica - Drought be Dammed

The water crisis in the West has renewed debate about the effectiveness of major dams, with some pushing for the enormous Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to be decommissioned.


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Major Initiative

Glen Canyon Living Atlas Project

Experience a virtual tour of the restoration occurring in Glen Canyon - Produced by Glen Canyon Institute; in collaboration with National Geographic Maps as well as numerous and Glen Canyon Explorers.


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In The News

Drought helps build case to drain lakes - Fill Mead First on CBS News

- It took 17 years to fill Lake Powell after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. But Powell's water level has been steadily dropping for the past 16 years due to an extended drought and overuse of the Colorado River. Today, the lake holds just 57 percent of its capacity. Its dam produces 60 percent of the electricity it was designed to produce as a result of the reduced water pressure. Downstream 360 miles, Lake Mead is also feeling the effects of drought and overuse. Mead is just 37 percent full, which is a real problem the for the 20 million people who rely on it for drinking water and irrigation. But a small advocacy organization in Salt Lake City is pushing a radical idea that could help fill Mead. "The idea of filling Lake Mead first and draining Lake Powell is more realistic than ever," said Eric Balken, who is the executive director of the Glen Canyon Institute. Draining Lake Powell has been a goal of some environmental groups ever since Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963. But the fact that neither Powell nor Mead is full today, or likely to get filled anytime soon, if ever, is giving the idea new life. Read More »

Snow, runoff and the Colorado River Basin

Mountain Town News collaborated with Kuhn on a reader-friendly Q&A to probe the growing evidence that warming temperatures have started upsetting the apple cart of Colorado River operations. Water runoff is a more complicated story than snowpack. The best way to understand snowmelt is to study the inflow into Lake Powell. This year, for example, while the snowpack was good; the runoff reached about 94 percent of average. So, average or above-average snowpack but below-average runoff as inflows into Lake Powell. Read More »

Jewell 'shocked' at lack of protection for Bears Ears cultural resources

BEARS EARS, San Juan County — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stood in a circle surrounded by leaders of five Native American tribes, medicine men and women, their children and families and spoke of the importance of the land. Read More »