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Colorado River Update: The U.S. Govt. Needs to “Tell The Dam Truth” about Dams

Hi Amazing Friends of the Colorado River (and rivers across the U.S.!),

FIRST, we are thrilled to support a new program by Patagonia to “Tell The Dam Truth” about climate-polluting dams in the U.S. and around the planet. Launched two weeks ago, “Tell The Dam Truth” — which is supported by over 135 conservation groups — submitted a petition that seeks to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require dam and reservoir operators to count and report the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) caused by their facilities.

Although it’s not commonly known, dams and reservoirs — including hydropower projects — can be serious GHG emitters sometimes rivaling coal-fired powerplants in climate emissions. Even worse, most of the emissions caused by dams and reservoirs are from methane which is a 20-times worse climate-polluting GHG than carbon dioxide.

The EPA petition and the “Tell The Dam Truth” campaign has already received significant media attention including at E&E News’ Greenwire. Read our press release about the petition here. More press is coming, and more opportunities for you to take action to ask the EPA to support this petition. Stay tuned!

SECOND, will Glen Canyon Dam actually be torn down?? News over the past few weeks has been devastating for the future of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. As the water level in Lake Powell drops due to extreme drought and overuse, the State of Colorado announced that it is placing a “hard pause” on the State’s plan to try and save Lake Powell. The State had proposed to buy massive amounts of water from Colorado farmers to run downstream and prop up the reservoir.

With Colorado stepping back from saving Lake Powell, it’s likely only matter of time before the Lake hits “power pool” and its hydropower plant stops generating electricity. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has stated that the plant could stop producing electricity “sometime this summer” if the weather doesn’t change.

One of our boardmembers — former Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Daniel P. Beard — has been at the center of the story as Lake Powell collapses. Read the story in the Salt Lake Tribune here. Beard has called on the Bureau of Reclamation to tear down Glen Canyon Dam and “rewild” the Colorado River.

The falling lake levels have stirred the interest and imagination of media outlets, reporters, and photographers across the U.S. Even CNN is getting in the thick of it by posting dramatic ‘before and after’ photos of the dying reservoir.

Through all of the last five years of Lake Powell’s demise, Save The Colorado has been at the center of the story — pushing for decommissioning of the dam, suing the Bureau of Reclamation for failing to take climate science seriously, and last week we issued a press release calling for a “Just Collapse” of the dam and reservoir.

As it stands now, the Bureau of Reclamation is simply letting the lake and dam “crash” without any consideration for impacts to ratepayers and water users. We advocate for convening a group of stakeholders to professionally and responsibly plan for decommissioning the dam and reservoir that minimizes the pain and maximizes benefits for stakeholders. See our press release here. We believe a decommissioned Glen Canyon Dam could be a huge tourist attraction for the U.S. Park Service and for northern Arizona.

We are working hard and greatly appreciate your support! It’s your support that keeps Save The Colorado IN THE NEWS, IN THE COURTROOM, and IN THE NIGHTMARES of the water agencies that are trying to further destroy the Colorado River. 🙂

You can donate online by clicking here.

Stay tuned for more action!




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