US agency decides against flooding Grand Canyon amid drought

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This photo provided by John Dillon shows the effects of flooding in the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on Thursday, July 15, 2021. The river that’s normally a greenish color turned a muddy brown from flash floods that have inundated Arizona. Authorities are searching for two people who were on a river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and went missing after a flash flood, a park spokeswoman said Thursday. (John Dillon via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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. The agency also cited projected losses in hydropower.

A remarkable monsoon left an abundance of sand in the Colorado River system that has helped build up beaches and sandbars in the Grand Canyon.

Some have criticized the bureau’s decision and said they suspect it was based on politics, not science.

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