GCI Radio Roadshow on KDNKFebruary 11, 2014
KDNK News presents the Glen Canyon Institute's Radio Roadshow on Monday, February 24 from 6-7pm.
Glen Canyon Institute Executive Director Christi Wedig will discuss the current state of the Colorado River and the controversial "Fill Mead First" proposal. The Radio Roadshow will be presented live at the new KDNK Broadcast Learning Center at 76 S. Second Street in Carbondale. Listeners are invited to be part of the live studio audience or tune in to the live broadcast. Audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. If you plan to attend, please arrive at 5:45 as the broadcast will begin promptly at 6 pm. This is a KDNK News Membership Drive event.
You can listen to the archived program and view the visual element of Wedig's presentation by clicking through to our news archives.
Fill Mead First?
The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American West. Seven states, two countries, and over 30 million people rely on the mighty Colorado. Climate change and the recent 14 year drought have pushed the River to its limit. Current demands for Colorado River water have already outstripped supply. Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the Colorado River's largest reservoirs are currently less than half full and likely to never fill again. Hydropower production at both Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam is down, putting a pinch on the Western Area Power Administration's ability to honor its long term power contracts.
This year, for the first time in history, in order to preserve Glen Canyon Dam power production Lake Powell releases to the lower basin were cut back exacerbating Nevada, California, and Arizona's water woes. Currently, proposals to move water from upper basin reservoirs including Blue Mesa and Flaming Gorge into Lake Powell for the sole purpose of maintaining power production are being considered. Colorado River managers are scrambling to find solution to the multifaceted crisis that is only expected to get worse. Reservoir re-operations have become a real possibility to alleviate stresses along the River. However, upper basin reservoir re-operations do not provide any benefit to Colorado River water supplies and may actually increase the amount of water lost to the system. In contrast, Glen Canyon Institute's Fill Mead First proposal would stabilize Lake Mead water levels and recover up to 300,000 acre feet of water to the Colorado River system each year- as much as Nevada's entire Colorado River allocation.
Prioritizing storage in Lake Mead would eliminate the massive inefficiencies and waste resulting from storage in Lake Powell's leaky sandstone basin. In addition, this protocol would allow for the restoration of Glen Canyon - America's lost National Park. This common sense solution would require no new infrastructure, would provide and immediate answer to the lower basin's water crisis, and could be easily reversed if desired results were not met. Join Glen Canyon Institute for a discussion about the Colorado River and Fill Mead First.