SubjectComment on Colorado River Post 2026 Notice of Intent
MessageTo whom it may concern,
The Post-2026 EIS is a critical moment for the Colorado River. It's a system that has been drastically over-allocated, with consequences for its citizens and the environment. A sustainable future for the river will require using less water and also rethinking Glen Canyon Dam. The EIS should analyze the full bypass of Glen Canyon Dam, using Lake Powell as a backup facility. As climate change continues to reduce flows on the river, the dam becomes more of a liability preventing water from flowing downstream. Fully bypassing the dam to allow natural flows and sediment downriver would give the river, its users, and its ecosystem the most flexibility and adaptability in a drier future. The EIS should acknowledge the extensive resources that have emerged in Glen Canyon. In the years since Lake Powell reservoir has declined, natural wonders have reemerged like Cathedral in the Desert, Gregory Natural Bridge, as well lush riparian ecosystems, and priceless archeological sites. The immense value of Glen Canyon's resources needs to be accounted for as decision makers choose where to store water. Storing water in Lake Powell would drown one-of-a kind natural wonders, destroy emerged riparian ecosystems, and damage delicate archeological sites. The EIS should analyze a “Fill Mead First” model, prioritizing water storage in Mead before Powell, including a “don’t fill past 3,550” policy at Lake Powell reservoir. For most of the past decade, there hasn’t been enough water in the Colorado’s mainstem reservoirs to fill either Lake Powell or Lake Mead. If there isn’t enough water to fill either one, it doesn’t make sense to needlessly drown the national park-caliber canyons in Glen. Fill Lake Mead first, and give Glen Canyon the opportunity to continue its amazing restoration. Thank you for your consideration,
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