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Press Release: Bureau of Reclamation Proposes Tunneling Around Glen Canyon Dam To Help Solve Colorado River Crisis

Feb. 8, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Bureau of Reclamation Proposes Tunneling Around Glen Canyon Dam To Help Solve Colorado River Crisis

Colorado River: Yesterday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation presented “alternatives” for how to modify Glen Canyon Dam to help solve the Colorado River crisis. Two of those alternatives include tunneling around Glen Canyon Dam to reconnect the Colorado River and avoid the pitfalls that the Dam has created.

The Bureau’s presentation is here. It was presented to the public as part of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, via a webinar, as one result of a $2 million study for how to “modify” Glen Canyon Dam so that the Dam’s design constraints no longer hinder water flow. The tunneling alternatives are “3a” and “3b”.

“We’re pleased to see the federal government proposing to bypass Glen Canyon Dam with tunnels,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado. “For years, we’ve pointed out that much of the Colorado River ‘crisis’ has been caused by the mere existence of Glen Canyon Dam, and that bypassing or removing the Dam should be an obvious alternative under consideration.”

Save The Colorado is the lead co-plaintiff in a current lawsuit against Glen Canyon Dam’s management plan, arguing that the Bureau needed to consider these alternatives back in 2016 when the management plan was created.

“For a decade, the Bureau of Reclamation has not taken climate change seriously, nor has it faced the fact that generating hydroelectricity at Glen Canyon Dam will have to change or stop,” said Wockner. “We’re also pleased to see ‘Alternative 6’ in the Bureau’s presentation which replaces the hydroelectricity at Glen Canyon Dam with wind and solar.

Five years ago, Save The Colorado’s Gary Wockner stood at Glen Canyon in this Youtube video and argued the exact same points that the Bureau of Reclamation is now proposing, including replacing the Dam’s hydropower with solar farms in the desert around Page, Arizona.

This press release is posted here.



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