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History of Glen Canyon-Lake Powell, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Problems, however, have arisen. The fluctuating water levels of the lake determined how much water would be released from the dam each year. The rising and lowering levels created intense downstream erosion, so an established amount is now turned loose annually. A continuing problem occurs when the silt-laden water of the San Juan and Colorado rivers hits the still water of the lake, dropping its burden and filling the reservoir with sand and soil. One government report estimates that in 400 years Lake Powell will be one big sandbox.

The Navajo Generating Station in Page creates a another problem. Started in 1974, this coal-fired plant is capable of producing 2,250 megawatts of power during its peak season in August. To do this, however, it must burn 1,000 tons of coal per hour--coal that is shipped by electric train from Black Mesa, seventy miles away. Las Vegas, Tucson, and Los Angeles get the power they demand, but the nitrogen oxides and other gas emissions from the plant create an unsightly brown haze that hangs over Page and its environs and reduces visibility in the Grand Canyon. Thus, one of the biggest issues facing Lake Powell today is how to preserve the quality of experience to be enjoyed by generations to come.

See: Philip L. Fradkin, A River No More (1984); Karl W. Luckert, Navajo Mountain and Rainbow Bridge Religion (1977); Dean F. Peterson and A. Berry Crawford, Values and Choices in the Development of the Colorado River Basin (1978).

Robert S. McPherson

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