Grand Canyon, Colorado River Flows - April, May, and June
This is a March 29, 2018, update from Paul Davidson at Glen Canyon Dam.
The release volume from Glen Canyon Dam for April, 2018, will be 705,000 acre-feet. Hourly releases during April, 2018, are anticipated to fluctuate between approximately 8,650 cfs in the nighttime and 15,000 cfs in the daytime.
The anticipated release volume for May, 2018, is 705,000 acre-feet with daily fluctuations between approximately 7,900 cfs in the nighttime and 14,250 cfs in the daytime.
The anticipated release volume for June, 2018, is about 760,000 acre-feet. This will be confirmed in a subsequent notification toward the end of April. Please note, the monthly volumes for May and June are set, but the hourly patterns may differ if the anticipated LTEMP Bug Flow experiment proceed forth. (GCPBA note - Read about that here: The Bugflow Experiment).
In addition to daily scheduled fluctuations for power generation, the instantaneous releases from Glen Canyon Dam may also fluctuate to provide 40 MW of system regulation. These instantaneous release adjustments stabilize the electrical generation and transmission system and translate to a range of up to about 1,200 cfs above or below the hourly scheduled release rate. Under system normal conditions, fluctuations for regulation are typically short lived and generally balance out over the hour with minimal or no noticeable impacts on downstream river flow conditions.
Releases from Glen Canyon Dam can also fluctuate beyond scheduled releases when called upon to respond to unscheduled power outages or power system emergencies. Depending on the severity of the system emergency, the response from Glen Canyon Dam can be significant, within the full range of the operating capacity of the power plant for as long as is necessary to maintain balance in the transmission system. Glen Canyon Dam currently maintains 27 MW (approximately 800 cfs) of generation capacity in reserve in order to respond to a system emergency even when generation rates are already high. System emergencies occur fairly infrequently and typically require small responses from Glen Canyon Dam. However, these responses can have a noticeable impact on the river downstream of Glen Canyon Dam.
The operating tier for water year 2018 was established in August 2017 as the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier, with an initial water year release volume of 8.23 maf and the potential for an April 2018 adjustment to equalization or balancing releases. Based on the current forecast, an April adjustment to balancing is projected to occur and Lake Powell is currently projected to release 9.0 maf in water year 2018. This projection will be updated each month throughout the water year. Reclamation will schedule operations at Glen Canyon Dam to achieve as practicably as possible the appropriate total annual release volume by September 30, 2018.
Paul Davidson, Hydraulic Engineer, Glen Canyon Dam
Bureau of Reclamation 125 S. State St. Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Ph: 801-524-3642
GCPBA RiverNews 1/19/2018 - Grand Canyon To Remain Open During Government Shutdown
GCPBA had a conversation with Matt Vandzura, chief ranger at Grand Canyon National Park, Friday morning, January 19, 2018, regarding consequences for private river runners should a government shutdown happen later that day.
He said to us that the word from Washington is, "National parks will remain accessible to the American public."
Read our full report here: Grand Canyon To Remain Open During Government Shutdown
GCPBA President's Letter - December 2017
Greetings All, Time to catch up on what's been happening......
Click the link below to read our President's Letter containing an update of various topics: The Navajo Council's vote against the Escalade development, our complaint with Grand Canyon National Park regarding the Hualapai River Runners doing an upriver run, and the resumption of river patrols by the NPS.
GCPBA RiverNews 7/16/2017 - Hualapai Nation Announce Intent to Require Permits for Camping
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Chris Lehnertz held a Community Conversation on July 11 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Among various topics discussed was Hualapai Nation Chairman Damon Clarke announcing their intent to require permits for river runners to camp on Hualapai land from miles 164.5 and 273.5.
Read our full announcement here:
GCPBA RiverNews 3/27/2017 - Grand Canyon Noncommercial River Trip Regulations Are Updated
Grand Canyon National Park recently updated their noncommercial river trip regulations. The new regulations are dated March 9, 2017. River runners are required by the Park to have a printed copy of the regulations with them at all times.
Read the rest of our announcement here:
GCPBA RiverNews 1/15/17 - Stow Away Motors For Diamond Down Allowed Again!
GCPBA has just received excellent news from Grand Canyon National Park regarding the use of a motor on the flat water of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon from below Diamond Creek to the Pearce Ferry takeout.
The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association would like to extend our thanks to Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Chris Lehnertz for an important adaptive management change she made to the Colorado River Management Plan. This change is very meaningful to noncommercial Grand Canyon river runners wanting to use the Pearce Ferry takeout rather than the Diamond Creek takeout.
GCPBA requested of the Park that noncommercial river trips again be allowed to stow a motor on a boat at the Lees Ferry ramp, to be used only below Diamond Creek on the flat water stretch of the Colorado River. We are now allowed to do so. Clearly Supt. Lehnertz heard us, and she approved and implemented the following change.
Read the rest of our announcement here:
GCPBA RiverNews 9/25/16 - Grand Canyon's New Granite Springs Rapid
GCPBA has learned of a change in Granite Springs Rapid at about mile 220.5, just after the popular mile 220 camps. This stretch of the river with "minor" rapids between mile 220 and Diamond Creek is often taken for granted by boaters as an easy six miles to the Diamond takeout, but no longer should that be so.
Read the rest of our report here:
GCPBA RiverNews 11/6/15 - Unused Grand Canyon Noncommercial Launch Dates Are Rescheduled, Not Lost
The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association would like to extend our thanks to Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga for an important adaptive management change he made early this year to the Colorado River Management Plan. This change is very meaningful to noncommercial Grand Canyon river runners seeking a permit to launch a river trip.
GCPBA requested that unused noncommercial river trip launch dates during a year be rescheduled, rather than lost.
Read the rest of our announcement here:
GCPBA RiverNews 12/2/14 – Martin Litton, February 13, 1917 – November 30, 2014
John Blaustein sent out the sad news about Martin Litton’s passing, quietly in his sleep with his wife, Esther, at his side. Some of us directly had our lives greatly impacted by this man. Because of what he and others successfully did to fight proposed dams in the Grand Canyon we have a river to run today.
Read the entire RiverNews here: Martin Litton, deceased at age 97
GCPBA President's Report - October, 2014
Wally Rist, GCPBA President, has his President's Report posted here on our website:
There is a lot of information in it, including reports of meetings with Grand Canyon National Park officials Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, River Permits Program Manager Steve Sullivan, and Chief River District Ranger Brian Bloom.
GCPBA Adaptive Management Considerations Meeting Follow Up
October 24, 2014
Permits Manager, Steve Sullivan
River District Ranger, Brian Bloom
Wilderness Planner, Linda Jalbert
CC: Superintendent, Dave Uberuaga
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Re: GCPBA Adaptive Management Considerations Meeting, Friday, October 3, 2014
Dear Steve, Brian, and Linda,
Thank you for meeting with us. We appreciate your dedication and the frank and thorough discussion of the Adaptive Management Consideration paper we had previously submitted. The meeting was very productive. I think we learned a lot from each other.
Your prompt implementation of posting up-coming lottery dates on your lottery site(our R-1, recommendation) is being well received. People are able to get a jump-start with their planning. That along with our new trip passenger exchange list https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gc_river_trip_planning/info (which we are hoping you will also post on your web site) should help in utilizing some of these last minute trip opportunities. It’s a good example of GCPBA/GCNP collaboration and cooperation to achieve something positive.
It was our impression that you would give further consideration to our discussion item D-5, adding a few small trip launches in March and October. In that vein you were going to send us the TAOTs for the different seasons and/or the criteria used as the guiding principles for river use during those seasons. We look forward to getting this information so that we can further explore this concept with you.
You mentioned you still had concerns about our discussion item D-6, which is closely related to the exceeding of TAOTS (60) in early May and results from the shorter trips over taking the longer ones. If we understood correctly, you felt there were only two options to alleviate this situation. The first was a few shorter trips in April swapped for some longer trips in early September, as previously considered publicly. The second was the elimination of, say 3 late spring trips with the addition of 3 trips in early September. As you know, the trip length swap concept was not well received by a number of boaters. Our initial reaction to the 3 trip swap was that it too would probably not be well received by a number of boaters. We did give both alternatives considerable consideration at our board meeting and concluded that neither option would not be well received by some sectors. Neither was less unappealing. We will give it further consideration as, I am sure you will as well. We of course realize that this is an issue where no solution will be without vocal objections.
We liked your “front loading” concept as a method to fill unused trips. Further discussion at our board meeting confirmed that we would support its implementation.
The possibility of allowing someone to appear as a PATL on someone’s application as well as applying for his own permit met with mixed opinions. We could not reach a conclusion on its overall benefit. We will give it further consideration as well.
Again, thank you for working with us. We look forward to hearing from you soon. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or thoughts to share, or if there is some way GCPBA can be of help.
GCPBA sends Colorado River Management Plan Adaptive Management Considerations to the Park
In May, we asked GCPBA members for feedback about various aspects of the CRMP, and subsequently put a similar query out on our GCPBA Yahoo Group and in several other internet locations.
The feedback obtained from that project was distilled and included in the first of a series of recommendations and discussion items we intend to present to the Park. Two recommendations for CRMP modifications and six discussion items were presented August, 2014, for the Park's consideration. We intend to discuss these with park personnel at our regular meeting with them in October in Flagstaff. Those discussions could possibly result in recommendations for additional implementation items in the future.
The full text of the GCPBA presentation is here, as a .pdf file for saving or printing: GCPBA CRMP Adaptive Management Considerations
The text of the presentation can be viewed on our website here: Presentation text
A brief list of our points is below. Please read the full document for our supporting background information.
While the response period for that project is officially over, the Board would certainly welcome your additional comments now. Write to us at email@example.com
R-1. Expedite reallocation of unclaimed and abandoned launch dates. This would be done by announcing information regarding those dates immediately upon availability, so that boaters can begin exploratory planning before lotteries are actually conducted. In this connection, more frequent secondary lotteries should be considered for unclaimed launch dates. (See Appendix item #2)
R-2. Increase maximum trip lengths for selected portions of the boating season. Under this revision, winter trip lengths would be restored to 30 days. (See Appendix item #6)
D-1. Consider changes in the One Trip a Year rule, to include: waiving it completely; waiving it just for the winter months; or, waiving it only for trips that are unassigned within 30 days of launch. (See Appendix item #1)
D-2. Consider changing how lottery chances are awarded, to develop a new system in which everyone would start with one point. In such a system, additional chances would be awarded only for a failed lottery application (and no trip participation) each year. Under this provision, the lottery chances of the applicant and PATL could be added. (See Appendix item #3, 4)
D-3. Consider increasing trip sizes, such that up to 24 participants would be allowed for winter and shoulder season launches. (See Appendix item #5)
D-4. Consider rescheduling unused launches in a manner that recovers lapsed launches later in the same year. (See Appendix item #8)
D-5. Consider revision of the small trip launch schedule. This idea would entail a reduction in the number of winter launches, which would be replaced by a corresponding number of additional launches in March and October. (See Appendix item #9)
D-6. Consider increasing the maximum trip length for a noncommercial standard river trip launched in the period Sept 1-15 from 18 days to 21. (Appendix item #7)
GCPBA Could Use Your Help - Help Us Help You
A reminder that GCPBA's fund-raising effort is still active. It's vitally important in helping us to stay in the arena when it comes to representing private boater interests. The three key areas where the Board anticipates a coming need for additional financial support are:
* The Long Term Experimental and Management Plan (LTEMP) for operation of Glen Canyon Dam, which in its final form will have a major impact on river related recreational opportunities on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
* The proposed LCR Escalade development, which (if not stopped) would result in an extensive resort-type development on the rim, a tramway to the river, and a restaurant literally overlooking the junction of the LCR and the main Colorado, as well as the potential for reduced or no access to the Little Colorado River Canyon for river runners.
* The Backcountry Management Plan now under development by the Park, which interfaces with river operations in important ways like closures (such as happened at Deer Creek) and impact of the increasingly popular sport of packrafting.
For those of you who have already donated, joined GCPBA, or renewed your membership, thank you for your generosity and support.
For folks who are new here, or who in the past have stayed on the sidelines, please help GCPBA through your paid membership, membership renewal, or a direct donation. Visit our new website: www.gcpba.org and look for the "Donate" link on the left side.
Thanks for your support.
Welcome to the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association NEW Website!
Our Goal: Ensure the ability for all to obtain, on an equal and timely basis, an opportunity to experience a float trip through the Grand Canyon while protecting the resource.
The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association was established in 1996 to provide the self-outfitted boating public with an advocate and a clear voice seeking to achieve fair access for the non-commercial river runner in Grand Canyon and the rivers of the Colorado Plateau region.
Important note to previous GCPBA website registrants - your previous username will still work on this new site but your password may not. If it doesn't work, you will be taken to a page allowing you to request a new password that will be emailed to you. Once you are able to log in, you can change your password if you desire. We're sorry for the inconvenience - building a new website is as challenging as running a heavy boat through Bedrock at low, low water.