CRWUA Meetings, Las Vegas –The federal Bureau of Reclamation released a statement this morning announcing plans to make official a “Long-Term Experimental Management Plan,” or LTEMP, for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam.
The LTEMP is the culmination of years of research to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement of Glen Canyon Dam. Its “Record of Decision,” or ROD, will provide a framework for adaptively managing the dam operations over the next 20 years.
According to the Bureau statement, the new LTEMP includes operational procedures that “are similar to what we are currently doing, but include some important refinements, tools and approaches that incorporate new science over the past 20 years.
“These tools help us better comply with the Grand Canyon Protection Act and more effectively protect endangered fish in the canyon.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to sign the document at a ceremony Thursday afternoon at the CRWUA conferences.
Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor and Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López will be in attendance, as will Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke.
Director Buschatzke expressed support for the LTEMP in a letter to Secretary Jewell, noting that, among other pluses, the monthly and annual reservoir operations at Glen Canyon Dam continue to deliver and store water as determined by the Law of the River and in addition the new plan better protects the habitat of native fauna like the endangered humpback chub.
“As a lower division state which has the potential to be affected by the (Draft Environmental Impact Statement), Arizona has a particular interest in avoiding potential impacts from the DEIS and ensuring its success,” wrote Buschatzke.