This article was initially featured on High Country News.
Glen Canyon Dam was constructed primarily to retailer extra Colorado River water throughout moist years, so it might be launched throughout dry spells and used to generate energy. Now, with aridification depriving the river of these extra flows, each capabilities are imperiled. In April, Lake Powell fell perilously near the purpose at which dam operators must cease sending water by means of the generators, depriving the grid of sufficient electrical energy to energy a few quarter of 1,000,000 houses yearly. It would additionally drain between $100 million and $200 million yearly from dam electrical energy gross sales, a few of which helps fund endangered species restoration, salinity management and water research on the Colorado River. Officials have launched further water from upstream dams and are presently letting much less of it circulate by means of Glen Canyon Dam, elevating water ranges simply sufficient to maintain the generators spinning. —Jonathan Thompson