Washington, D.C.-- Congressman Jim Hansen, Chairman of the Congressional Subcommittee on National Parks and Public
Lands, and Congressman John Doolittle, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water and Power, will conduct a Joint Oversight flearing on Tuesday, September 23, 1997, at 10:00 am., on the proposal by the Sierra Club to drain
Lake Powell. Among those scheduled to testi~ are Mr. Adam Werbach, President of the Sierra Club; Mr. David Brower, Chairman, Earth Island Institute; Mr. Ted Stewart, Executive Director, Utah Department of Natural
Resources. The Clinton Administration witnesses expected are from the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Department of Energy.
Glen Canyon died, and I was partly responsible for its needless death," Mr. Brower wrote in 1963. "But as surely as we made a mistake years ago, we can reverse it. We can drain Lake Powell and let the
Colorado River run through the dam that created it," he wrote recently.
Chairman Hansen stated: "Personally, I think that this is a biaarre idea! However, there is so much misinformation about the
lake and the dam in the media, I felt that a public hearing on the issue was warranted." The Subcommittee on National Parks has jurisdiction over Lake Powell as part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a
unit of the National P&k System, and the Subcommittee on Water and Power has jurisdiction over the Glen Canyon Dam, the allocation of the water for consumptive uses and hydropower marketed from the dam.
Canyon Dam is on the Colorado River in north-central Arizona, about 12 miles downstream of the Arizona-Utah state line. The dam is the 4th highest dam in the United States and 22nd in the world. The dam, completed in
1964, has a structural height of 710 feet, a crest length of 1,560 feet, and contains 4,901,000 cubic yards of concrete.
The power plant provides the principal portion of electrical energy generated by the Colorado
River Storage Project The reservoir provides the longtime regulatory storage needed to permit the states of the Upper Colorado River Basin to use their apportioned water and still meet the flow obligations downstream to
comply with the terms of the 1922 Compact of the Colorado.
"The draining of Lake Powell would have negative environmental impacts, eliminate the storage of enough water to meet the needs of S million people
for more than ten years, and destroy the delicate balance of water rights between the upper and lower Colorado River basins," Chairman Doolittle stated.
Lake Powell, the reservoir impounded by the dam, has a
total storage capacity of 27,000,000 acre-feet of water, extends 186 miles up the Colorado River into Utah, has 1900 miles of shoreline, and is the 2nd largest reservoir in the country.
Over 2.5 million people
recreate on Lake Powell annually. Nearly 2 million of those stay overnight, giving Glen Canyon NRA the 2nd highest number of overn ight stays in the National Park System, bringing over $400 million into the economy of
this Arizona-Utah area. Lake Powell offers a unique form of boating, fishing, camping and related recreation for millions of people of all ages and physical abilities. Over 70,000 people visit Rainbow Bridge National
Monument by tour boat annually.
"I want the entire country to understand the magnitude of this proposal and how seriously it will affect the people from Colorado to Los Angeles,
" concluded Chairman Hansen.