Photo by Loretta Yerian.
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon National Park implemented water conservation measures after experiencing a water pump issue Dec. 29.
At Level 2, mandatory measures require that all concessions operations switch to disposable dishes and utensils, alter menus to use less water for food preparation and dish washing, adopt low water use for hotel room cleaning and serve drinking water at restaurants by request only.
The measure was put in place following a water pump failure that occurred with the Transcanyon Pipeline pump system located at Indian Gardens. The primary pump is inoperable and is not currently flowing water to the South Rim. Crews are anticipated to begin repair work this week and assess the extent of repairs. Mandatory water conservation guidelines are implemented for all consumers on the South Rim, Desert View and Hermit's Rest. The North Rim remains closed until May 15 and is unaffected by these issues.
Day hikers and backpackers are always encouraged to carry a way to filter or treat creek water for drinking purposes and continue to stay hydrated even when winter temperatures may be cool. Water remains available at Bright Angel Campground at Phantom Ranch and Indian Gardens on the Bright Angel Trail. Faucets at the mile-and-a-half and three mile rest houses on the Bright Angel Trail remain turned off for the season. Hiker and backpackers should always check with the backcountry office for the latest information regarding available drinking water sources in the backcountry.
Mandatory water conservation includes not watering lawns/plants or washing cars; filling the sink with water while washing dishes; reporting drips, leaks or other water loss to appropriate offices; turning off the water while you shave or brush your teeth; running dishwashers or washing machines with only full loads- in eco mode if available and taking shorter showers. All visitors and residents must implement water conservation measures immediately in homes, hotel rooms and at the campgrounds. The public can call (928) 638-7688 to listen to a recorded message with updates and additional information as it becomes available.
Grand Canyon National Park has a large and complex water utility system that provides water to close to six million visitors a year in addition to the 2,000 plus residents that live within the park