A new report from Glen Canyon Institute, Utah Rivers Council, and the Great Basin Water Network reveals that the limited plumbing inside Glen Canyon Dam may soon prevent Upper Basin states from meeting its delivery obligation to Lower Basin states.

The failure to meet the water delivery obligations will have major impacts on water supplies in the Lower Basin states, but it will also have impacts on the Upper Basin states. Lower Basin states could incite litigation, demand water from Upper Basin reservoirs, and force curtailment of Upper Basin usage. This would have economic impacts on Upper Basin communities ranging from reduced agricultural production and limited urban growth, to restricted recreation.

The report’s authors urge immediate funding from Congress to retrofit Glen Canyon Dam’s plumbing to allow water delivery obligations to be met on a long-term basis. This work must begin immediately to avoid a water delivery crisis, since Glen Canyon Dam is effectively becoming an obstacle to delivering water to downstream water users.

Read the latest research on how the Glen Canyon Dam’s archaic design threatens the Colorado River water supply in a new report titled “Antique Plumbing at Glen Canyon Dam.”