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Thu, Jan. 27

Column: Low water operations on Lake Powell

Water flows from the number one and two jet tubes as seen from atop the Glen Canyon Dam in 2008 in Page, Ariz. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation decided against sending water rushing through the Grand Canyon this fall to redeposit sediment because of persistent drought. Agency officials said opening the bypass tubes at the Glen Canyon Dam would have reduced the elevation of Lake Powell at a time when it’s at historic lows. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Water flows from the number one and two jet tubes as seen from atop the Glen Canyon Dam in 2008 in Page, Ariz. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation decided against sending water rushing through the Grand Canyon this fall to redeposit sediment because of persistent drought. Agency officials said opening the bypass tubes at the Glen Canyon Dam would have reduced the elevation of Lake Powell at a time when it’s at historic lows. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Dear Partners:

Lake Powell has dropped to unprecedented low water levels and Bureau of Reclamation projections indicate it will continue to drop. Here is the latest information regarding National Park Service (NPS) low water operations on Lake Powell.

  1. Early Listening Sessions: Thank you to our Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) permittees and Utah Guides and Outfitters for participating in early listening sessions conducted by our contractor Jacobs Government Solutions. This contract is looking for the best low water ramp locations and concept designs at Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, Antelope Point Public Ramp, and a primitive Colorado River takeout ramp at Hite. Jacobs received input on ramp design from these businesses operating within the park including what is currently working, what isn’t working and what they would like to see in a ramp. Civic engagement continues and additional listening sessions will be held in January 2022.

  2. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) December 24-month projections: Lake Powell’s water levels are projected on a monthly basis by BOR. On Dec. 17, BOR released their updated projections which show the potential impacts of a dry November across the basin. The latest projections are significantly lower than what was announced in November.

  3. Bullfrog Main Spur Ramp: Last week the park notified the public of the pending inoperability of the last remaining developed ramp open in the North Lake Powell area. Any remaining access from Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, or Hite will be on unmaintained banks and at the users own risk.

  4. Rainbow Bridge National Monument: In October, access from Lake Powell became significantly more difficult, due to lowering lake levels and mud and debris from rain events. While no longer connected to the shoreline, the Rainbow Bridge dock system is accessible with restroom facilities for visitors. Recently our trail crew extended the trail down approximately one mile to meet with the shoreline and will continue to assess after the spring runoff.

Mary Plumb

National Park Service,

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument

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