37,200 cfs in Grand Canyon on Nov 11 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-30-2013   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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37,200 cfs in Grand Canyon on Nov 11

RRFW Riverwire High Flow Experiment to begin November 11



October 30, 2013

The Department of Interior Glen Canyon Leadership Team has directed the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out a High Flow Experiment from Glen Canyon Dam November 11-16, 2013. This notification describes the operations of Glen Canyon Dam in November for the days prior to, during, and after the High Flow Experiment.

Beginning on November 1, 2013, and through November 10, 2013, the releases from Glen Canyon Dam will total approximately 14,008 acre-feet per day. Hourly and daily average releases from Glen Canyon Dam for November 1-10 will be scheduled through Western Area Power Administration to be consistent with the Glen Canyon Dam Operating Criteria (Federal Register, Volume 62, No. 41, March 3, 1997) and to also achieve, as nearly as is practicable, this daily release volume. Releases are anticipated to fluctuate between approximately 8,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) during the daytime hours and 5,000 cfs during the nighttime hours of midnight to 7:00 a.m.

During November 11-16, releases from Glen Canyon Dam will be made according to the hourly schedule described at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs...hydrograph.JPG.

The above link shows the scheduled hourly releases from Glen Canyon Dam during the High Flow Experiment. Note that the schedule shows power plant capacity releases of approximately 22,200 cfs with full bypass increasing the total release up to approximately 37,000 cfs. The 37,200 cfs will be maintained till Friday November 15. It is understood that the actual plant capacity with seven units running and 40 megawatts (MW) of system regulation may be slightly more or less than this estimate.

During all days of November, including during the High Flow Experiment, 40 MW of system regulation will be maintained at Glen Canyon Dam. During the High Flow Experiment, 41 MW of system reserves will be moved off of Glen Canyon Dam. During the days prior to and after the HFE, the usual 41 MW of system reserves will be maintained at Glen Canyon Dam.

After the High Flow Experiment, releases will return to a daily total of approximately 14,008 acre-feet per day. Beginning November 16, 2013 at 1500 hours, hourly and daily average releases from Glen Canyon Dam will resume being scheduled through Western Area Power Administration to be consistent with the Glen Canyon Dam Operating Criteria (Federal Register, Volume 62, No. 41, March 3, 1997) and to also achieve, as nearly as is practicable, this daily release volume. Releases are anticipated to fluctuate between approximately 8,000 cfs during the daytime hours and 5,000 cfs during the nighttime hours of midnight to 7:00 a.m. The scheduled release volume for November 2013 including the High Flow Experiment is approximately 700,000 acre-feet.

The release volume for December is expected to be 600,000 acre-feet, with fluctuations between approximately 6,000 cfs and 12,000 cfs. The release volume for January is expected to be 800,000 acre-feet. Releases for December and January will be confirmed with a subsequent notification toward the end of November.

This notification supersedes all previously issued notifications and is current until a new notification is issued. All times identified in this notification and attached schedule are local time (MST).

This update courtesy of Katrina Grantz, Bureau of Reclamation

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Old 11-01-2013   #2
 
Cottonwood, Arizona
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Thanks for the info, Tom.
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Old 11-04-2013   #3
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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I wonder if they would accomplish more with a higher flow than that, say 100,000 cfs but for only 2 days.
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Old 11-04-2013   #4
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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You bet they would! It's called a river without a dam! The dam as it is can only release about 45,000 cfs. 37,000 is near to the lowest annual high flow ever recorded. It's a good flow to boat on, through another 10 or 20 K would be better. All the best, tom
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Old 11-05-2013   #5
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
You bet they would! It's called a river without a dam! The dam as it is can only release about 45,000 cfs. 37,000 is near to the lowest annual high flow ever recorded. It's a good flow to boat on, through another 10 or 20 K would be better. All the best, tom
Hmm. I thought the dam could release more than that. Perhaps the next time there is a significant flood on the Little Colorado or the Paria they could add to it. A good flood would do wonders for the canyon's ecosystem not to mention it would be great for boaters.
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Old 11-05-2013   #6
 
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Well, if the Reservoir is full, water can be let out the spillways. That last happened in the "testing of the spillways after the "repair" of the 1983 flood damage. The habitat flows max out at 45-47K cfs. The LCR last really cranked in 1923. It could still do so today. We live in hope. Yours, tom
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Old 11-05-2013   #7
 
Iowa City, Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
Well, if the Reservoir is full, water can be let out the spillways. That last happened in the "testing of the spillways after the "repair" of the 1983 flood damage. The habitat flows max out at 45-47K cfs. The LCR last really cranked in 1923. It could still do so today. We live in hope. Yours, tom
Yeah, looks like the LC has only got to about 5-6,000 cfs a couple of times since 2007. But the Paria got to 7,000 during that September flash flood event. (The data for both gauges only go back to 2007) USGS Current Conditions for USGS 09382000 PARIA RIVER AT LEES FERRY, AZ
So if they had released 37,000 from the reservoir at that time could have had a decent flood.
Looks like without the dam there would have been close to 100,000 cfs in the canyon in 2011.
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Old 11-05-2013   #8
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Your point about the Dam managers being able to crank up the flow when the Paria or LCR is in flood is a good one, and the planners understand this, but the managers are just not able to move that fast at this time. And as long as the dam is there, the long term view is not good for sand or driftwood. Once the dam is breached on either side, things will slowly start to return to "normal" but it will take quite a while. I had to laugh at the fact that alll the rock bolts put into the Navajo Sandstone at the base of the dam was missed in the Emerald Mile book. The dam will still be standing long after the sandstone has eroded away on one side of the other of the dam. Yours, tom
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