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Glen Canyon Institute

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

Press Release

Glen Canyon Historical Story Map

Glen Canyon Institute and National Geographic are proud to present the Glen Canyon Historical Story Map.

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Major Initiative

GCI urges BOR to Fill Mead First

Glen Canyon Institute (GCI) has called on the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to implement the Fill Mead First plan, which could save massive amounts of water.

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In The News

It's not just a 'California drought'

Dryness stretches throughout the American West. Yet the nation is captivated by the notion of a "California drought." Headline writers, network news anchors and radio broadcasters have all rallied around that label, as if drought and its life-changing impacts — wildfire being only the most dramatic — stopped at Golden State lines. "The problems are integrated across states," says John Fleck, writer in residence at the University of New Mexico's Water Resources Program. "And the solutions are integrated across states too." Read More »

Slide Show: Ebb and Flow on the Colorado

David Owen reports on the disappearing Colorado River, which, he writes, has been “so altered and controlled” as to become a kind of canal—a force for powering turbines and irrigating crops and filling reservoirs, every gallon owned by the parched states of the American West. Owen follows the Colorado from its headwaters to Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, where the river’s depletion is visible in a white “bathtub ring” of mineral deposits on the bluffs; from there, he continues down to the Gulf of California, the Colorado’s natural outlet, which it seldom reaches any longer. What was once a “natural stream,” he writes, is now “a dispersed and brachiating resource-distribution system.” Read More »

Where the River Runs Dry

All that human utility has costs; the river suffers, in varying degrees, from many of the same kinds of overuse and environmental degradation that threaten freshwater sources around the world. The Colorado’s flow is so altered and controlled that in some ways the river functions more like a fourteen-hundred-mile-long canal. The legal right to use every gallon is owned or claimed by someone—in fact, more than every gallon, since theoretical rights to the Colorado’s flow (known as “paper water”) vastly exceed its actual flow (known as “wet water”). That imbalance has been exacerbated by the drought in the Western United States, now in its sixteenth year, but even if the drought ended tomorrow problems would remain. Read More »