Talk:Risks to the Glen Canyon Dam

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Nobody started a NPOV discussion... so here it is. If no one has anything to say in a week or two, I'll remove the tag. --R27182818 (talk) 15:32, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

I placed the tag because someone wrote blatantly on the top of the article, "This entire article biased and in clear violation of the spirit of neutrality of Wikipedia." While this article is indeed from a point of view against the dam, whoever wrote it didn't bother to look at the name of the article, to see what it really is describing. Shannon1talk contribs 00:13, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
No discussion either way, so I removed it. Shannon1, you didn't seem to express an opinion. --R27182818 (talk) 21:46, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
The opinion wasn't mine, it was someone else's. Shannon1talk contribs 04:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I think your statement above this article is correct. Being against the dam is different from discussing its risks. The author has attempted to show the dam is risky, which it probably isn't, and has from his or her point of view created a large list of supposed negatives. Of course the dam has an even larger list of reasons for it's being left in place. From its huge recreational use to the crops it waters, the on-demand power it generates, and the flooding it controls (actually the 1983 and 1984 flooding events are prime examples of why Glen Canyon dam should remain in place). Being scientifically trained I have a lot of problems with folks who talk about lost water. They taught me at Cal Tech that water can't be destroyed. It goes somewhere and the benefits there need to be included in any cost benefit analysis. Being a river runner who was on the river in 1983 both upstream and down of Glen Canyon I've watched the sediment build in lower Cataract Canyon for close to 30 years now. I get really confused when people talk about river sediment being at the dam face in 80 years (it's over 500' deep there when the upstream reach has only been able to sediment fill down to Hite Marina in the shallow section of the reservoir (100' or less deep). I believe there is a lot of emotion and a paucity of reality in some of the current writing about this subject. I would recommend making this article just about dam risks. Talk about the 1983 event. Remove the one-sided evaporation and ground charging from the discussion since it has nothing to do with risk or include the possible benefits and reasons for the dam in the first place (flood control which it has done well, water storage which it has done very well, and power generation which it has also done well - isn't there a shortage of clean, on-demand electrical power generation in this country?). (talk) 22:19, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

First of all the article obviously mentions that the sediment will reach the dam face in that time, and can even apply if a half-inch of it does. The reservoir will certainly fill with sediment eventually, unless another dam is built upstream. (Should remove the time span for total sedimentation and add "eventually", I agree, because the 1983 floods carried more sediment that the past few years combined. And the 1983 event caused the dam to nearly collapse, isn't that a "risk"? Since 1984 the spillways haven't been tested by another major flood, and how do we know if they'll work again in 2012 or another big flood? Well, I understand your opinions on how the dam has done well with some things, I agree with that. However, this article doesn't contest with the fact that the dam does those things. Shannontalk contribs sign!:) 01:47, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I think that this article can go a long way towards neutrality. It seems biased to the anti-dam side. As someone else said, being anti-dam is fine, but the subject of stability still needs to be discussed in a neutral manner. I also noticed some omissions of information that contradict some of the points mentioned, and a lot of uncited statements. I'll work on sorting those out. (talk) 14:21, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Comment in text[edit] added the bolded text to the page:

An example of the fast deposition rate of Colorado River sediment is found in Lake Mead itself, where, before the completion of Glen Canyon Dam, ten percent of its storage was already compromised by sediment. When Lake Powell levels drop, sediments deposited in its upper reaches are carried into the receding water by the Colorado and its tributaries. One large flash flood caused by heavy rainfall could move all or most of these sediments into Lake Powell, creating a sudden loss of storage capacity (This is get rid of the dam gobbledegook, makes no sense at all. All of the sediments above Hite are already in high pool Lake Powell. Is the author saying he or she believes Lake Powell should never be at high pool, even during an 1983 type event?). The only way to control sediment flow in the reservoir, without removing the dam outright, is by dredging. Unfortunately, as Glen Canyon is remote and isolated, the cost of dredging (which would require to remove 84 tons per minute in order to keep pace with advancing sediment) is extremely high. Although the Colorado River Delta is the most ecologically friendly place for sediment to be dumped, the cost of transporting sediment from Glen Canyon to the Delta, which not only involves a long distance travelled as well as international negotiations (the Delta is located in Mexico) is $2.6 billion USD per year.

I removed it as it does not belong in the article. (talk) 23:35, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

New title and subject[edit]

Because of all the controversy over this topic I mildly suggest that this page be moved to Glen Canyon Dam controversy, and also include information supporting the dam, but I can't really do this myself, so if anyone could help in this that would be great. Shannontalk contribs 21:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)


I previously edited the article with several requests for citations (July 2010) - large sections of this article are not sourced and the cite source requests were edited out. If the information can't be supported, why are they allowed to remain in the article? (talk) 20:10, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I see citations at the end of every paragraph and throughout most of them. If you place a tag like {{cn}} or {{verify source}} next to a specific sentence that isn't mentioned within the reference then it would be easier to work this issue out.--NortyNort (Holla) 00:03, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
See specifically the two July 13 2010 revisions where citations were requested and then edited out the same day with the comment "stupid sock". The inclusion of ecological information is important to other articles, but downstream ecology has nothing to do with Glen Canyon Dam's safety. Some of the articles cited as the end of sentences don't support all the conclusions. For example it was requested to show the source for the 44 million tons of sediment annually - the link is now dead, but it had no information about sedimentation, simply that Lake Powell was the largest upper basin reservoir. The statement "(either a huge inflow, bigger than 1983 is definitely possible, or insufficient storage capacity because the lake was too full of either water or sediment)" was reworded but reverted without a citation. How can the author support "a huge definitely possible" without citing anything?
The BOR's own publication was edited out as a source for the size of the spillways. The "citation need" was edited out of this statement: "At the onset of the flood in 1983, several false weather predictions made the Bureau of Reclamation late in opening the spillways[citation needed]" which certainly seems to need it.
Boards were not used to support the weight of the water, and this can be seen from the Bureau's own photographs - no cite source issued, just simply deleted and removed. Why? Look at : for the first edit and compare to the current edition as well:
Stuff that is factually inaccurate has been edited out and stuff that should have been cited has been replaced back into the article. Why were BOR publications taken out and unsourced material put back in? I'll go back in later and take a look at each example that I think should be {{cn}} tagged PageRob (talk) 18:01, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I found a new link for the Colorado River Storage Project, referenced the estimated 44 million tons of sediment and removed the definitely possible as that claim isn't cited and unneeded. Regarding spillway capacity, the USBR has the capacity at 208,000 cubic feet per second (5,900 m3/s) at what appears to be normal elevation. If you add the outlet works, you get an additional 15,000 cfs and according to this source, before 1983, the power plant discharge capacity was 31,500 cfs. So, in total, the discharge capacity of all the outlets is in the area of 254,500 cfs. I just updated the spillway capacity as only that was described in the sentence. I added a citation tag to the statement about false weather reports because I can't verify it and this source seems to indicate it came as a surprise. False weather reports? Maybe but I should be cited because it is a claim. When you say "boards" I assume you mean flash boards which were installed and this is what the article states. I also agree the article on the risks shouldn't include information about downstream ecology, particularly in the lead. If so, the article should be titled "Glen Canyon Dam controversy". The comment in the edit summary calling the IP a sock I would take up with that particular editor. I don't know why those words were chosen, maybe misdirected. Feel free to edit the article, we can discuss any changes here if need be.--NortyNort (Holla) 10:19, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Removal of unsourced number, and an additional source to use[edit]

The article said that the force of water in the left tunnel was eroding building material and sandstone at a rate of 1,000 tons per second. This works out to a rate of 86.4 million tons eroded per day. Assuming two tons per cubic yard, that represents a loss of roughly 40 million cubic yards of rock per day. I just read another article saying that 4,000 to 5,000 cubic yards of material were lost due to cavitation/erosion, so the 1,000 tons/second rate seems very implausible to me.

Here's the source where I saw the figure of 4,000-5,000 cubic yards. It's a nice article that has a day-by-day breakdown of how events unfolded in the summer of 1983, and it may be helpful for other editors:

The article describes how debris clogged temporarily clogged the spillway, which I don't think is mentioned here yet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

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