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Glen Canyon Dam – Lake Powell

The Glen Canyon Dam is on the famous Colorado River, NE Ariz., at the height of 710 ft (216 m) high and is 1,560 ft (475 m) long. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s key unit of the Colorado River storage project is the largest concrete dams in the world. This dam was built in 1963 and was dedicated in 1966 to power-generation facilities to control the upper Colorado flow and its tributaries flow, and since 1964 it produces hydroelectricity.

The dam reduced the Colorado downstream seasonal flow and thereby altering the river ecology dramatically in the Grand Canyon. The water releases changes were experimented to ameliorate the dam effects.

The dam formed lake Powell. It extends upstream into S Utah to186 mi (299 km). The Lake acquired its name after John W. Powell, the American explorer, who mapped and named in 1870 the canyon. This lake is now the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, nucleus. Downstream1, 271 ft (387 m) long and 700 ft (213 m) high, is the Glen Canyon Bridge, one of the longest and largest steel-arch bridges in the world.

Lake Powell is sited within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah. The National Park Service (NPS) manages 1.2 million-acre site. The lake and its surrounding area support wildlife in abundance, and this includes much well-adapted to the adjacent desert environment, such as rodents and bats. Large mammals, including coyotes and bobcats, are common. Lake Powell has increased the desirability of the arid region around it.

Lake Powell is not a natural lake, but in the United States is the second-largest human-made reservoir. It was formed in 1963 by the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. The lake was named honoring Major John Wesley Powell, the Civil War veteran. Powell in 1869, led a 3-month expedition and explored around 1,000 miles of the Colorado River, and this includes the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

Each year, more than 3 million visitors come to Glen Canyon; enjoy the recreational opportunities opulence provided by the 186-mile Lake Powell. The outstanding features of the lake are the Rainbow Bridge National Monument.  A 50-mile boat journey takes you to the tallest natural bridge in the world that is 290 feet tall and spans 275 feet.  The local communities receive revenue through this tourism.

Environmental Impacts
The Glen Canyon Dam construction and Lake Powell formation were also a part of the controversy. The dam provides clean, renewable energy; but had devastating effects on the environment. The sediment of the 150-foot thick layer has formed behind the dam in Lake Powell. The sediment contains organic matter, required by downstream aquatic organisms. Human use of this lake has led to invasive species introduction such as striped bass for fishing. These non-native fish easily out competes the native fish, robbing of precious resources.

Economic Benefits
The lake provides benefits to visitors and also the surrounding communities. The Lake Powell significance and the Glen Canyon Dam are in the hydroelectricity providing more than 20 million people to the United States southwest. The tourism industry and the dam have brought jobs to this area, and the generated energy by eight generators offer power to the southwest United States, tribal communities, and Mexico.

Future of the Environment
The Lake Powell future will depend on its continued use. While opponents of Lake Powell call for the draining, its place is most likely permanent on the southwestern landscape. The NPS carefully monitors hydrologic activity and water quality. In the desert environment, its location makes its 1,900 miles of shoreline prone to soil erosion. New challenges are experienced at the NPS as it struggles to avert the invasive zebra mussels from getting into the waters; as they are found already in nearby Lake Mead. Environmental impacts increase as the beauty and recreational opportunities of this lake attract bringing more visitors.

Quick Facts
Lake Powell covers more than 2000 miles shoreline, and this is more than the Pacific coast combined states. It is deep by 400 feet, long by 186 miles and has a capacity of 27,000,000 acre-feet for water storage.

Every year, more than 3,000,000 people visit Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. The average length is 4.5 days stay, and this is the longest stay in any federal park.Lake Powell was formed in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam was in completion. Lake Powell took nearly 17 years to reach as the full pool.

Glen Canyon Dam rises 710 feet above Colorado River, and it was completed in 1963. It provides essential electric power and water storage to small rural electric co-ops, towns and Native American reservations throughout Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

Glen Canyon Power Plant has a combined capacity of 1.3 million kilowatts featuring eight generators. Lake Powell was named as an honor to John Wesley Powell, the civil war veteran who led in wooden boats an expedition to the Colorado River in 1869 through the Grand Canyon.

Amenities and facilities at Lake Powell include five marinas, two visitor centers, permanent mooring for more than two thousand private vessels, restaurants, lodging, RV facilities, and campgrounds.  There are convenient services, and that includes the availability of boat rentals and houseboat rentals at the dockside and dry boat storage, water sports gear, fishing, general merchandise, groceries and guided tours.

The largest natural bridge is the Rainbow Bridge National Monument on the earth. This is the famous site and every year has visitors coming in thousands to admire this graceful stone arc that is accessible by private vessels and tour boats.

More details
Lake Powell and the enveloping Glen Canyon National Recreation Area spans around 1932 square miles of high desert landscape.  The Lake Powell waters cover 13% of the Glen Canyon Recreational Area.

Swimming, hiking, fishing, water-skiing and scuba diving are some of the other activities offered, besides guided lake tours, float trips and scenic air flights down the Colorado River.

When Lake Powell is a full pool, at Glen Canyon Dam, it is 560 feet deep. When the lake stretches back, it is around 186 miles up the channel of Colorado River. Lake Powell has major 96 side canyons. The full Lake Powell has a vast shoreline, and the major four water sources are The Colorado River, The Escalante River, The Dirty Devil River, and The San Juan. The Lake Powell receives water from the melting of snow during the runoff of the spring that drains about 10,000 square miles.

The water levels of Lake Powell rise from April end to July 1st week, and for the rest of the year, the water level falls. Glen Canyon Dam and the Lake Powell are constructed for water storage primarily, though power generation and recreation are massive additional benefits.

The scenery of Lake Powell is unusual and is used for movies setting, the latest, Gravity with Sandra Bullock.  You can see spectacular views of the Colorado River and the dam. However, anyone going to visit should carry water in plenty, wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Avoid hiking as it is very hot and without fail inform your nearby friends and be careful as the trail is slippery, watch your footing and if children are with you keep proper track of them.