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River Resource Management In ~ 11 b~ ~ ID CAI Committee to Review the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Water Science and Technology Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. ~ 996

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special com- petences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors ac- cording to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Meclicine. Support for this project was provicled by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, under CooperativeAgreement Number6-FC- 40~4240. International Standarcl Book Number 0-309~5448-6 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 95-73313 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Box285 Washington, DC 20055 800~24~242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B-719 Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover art by Larry Stevens, Flagstaff, Arizona

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COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE GLEN CANYON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR. (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder GARRICK A. BAILEY, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma BONNIE COLBY, University of Arizona, Tucson DAVID DAWDY, Consulting Hydrologist, San Francisco, California ROBERT C. EULER, Consulting Anthropologist, Prescott, Arizona IAN GOODMAN, The Goodman Group, Boston, Massachusetts WILLIAM GRAF, Arizona State University, Tempe ClARK HUBBS, University of Texas, Austin TREVOR C. HUGHES, Utah State University, Logan RODERICK NASH, University of California, Santa Barbara (through 1994) A. DAN TARLOCK, IIT Chicago Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois Staff SHEllA D. DAVID, Study Director MARY BETH MORRIS, Senior Project Assistant ... ///

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WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD DAVID L. FREYBERG (Chair), Stanford University, Stanford, California BRUCE E. RITTMAN Mice Chair), Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois LINDA M. ABRIOLA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor PATRICK L. BREZONIK, Water Resources Research Center, St. Paul, Minnesota JOHN BRISCOE, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, The Woricl Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. KENNETH D. FREDERICK, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. WILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, Berkeley THOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, New York CAROL A. JOHNSTON, University of Minnesota, Duluth WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR., University of Colorado, Boulder JOHN W. MORRIS, J. W. Morris Ltd., Arlington, Virginia CAROLYN H. OLSEN, Brown and Caldwell, Pleasant Hill, California CHARLES R. O'MELIA, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland REBECCAT. PARKIN, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C. IGNACIO RODRIGUEZ-ITURBE, Texas A&M University, College Station FRANK W. SCHWARTZ, Ohio State University, Columbus HENRYS. VAUX, JR., University of California, Oakland Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director SHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff Officer CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer GARY D. KRAUSS, Staff Officer JACQUELINE MACDONALD, Senior Staff Officer JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Associate ETA N GUMERMAN, Research Associate ANGELA F. BRUBAKER, Senior Project Assistant ANITA A. HALL, Aciministrative Assistant MARY BETH MORRIS, Senior Project Assistant ELLEN DEGUZMAN, Project Assistant iv

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN (Chair), The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania BIASES P. BRUCE, Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Canada WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. PERRY L. MCCARTY, Stanford University, Stanford, California IUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts S. GEORGE PHILANDER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park ELLEN K. SILBERGELD, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director GREGORY SYMMES, Reports Officer JAMES MALLORY, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate SUSAN SHERWIN, Project Assistant

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuat- ing society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, underthe charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for acivising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Harold Liebowitz is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National,Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth 1. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Vl

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"This evening, as I write, the sun is going down, and the shadows are seRlingin the canyon the gateway through which we are to enter on our voyage of exploration tomorrow. What shall we find?" John Wesley Powell, THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO RIVER 15 (1875). Vll

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Preface For about 50 years, culminating in the 1970s, the United States steadily dammed most of its large rivers. By the end of this era, the technical, fiscal, and political evolution of dam building had proceeded to such a refined state that dams could be placed where previously they would have been considered impossible, impractical, or inadvisable. Nevertheless, by 1980 America's Age of Impoundment had closed under a storm of environmental opposition and fiscal criticism. Remission in the national struggle over approval of new dams has allowed public attention to be redirected toward the operation of existing dams. Most large dams were originally justified by water supply, flood control, and production of hydroelectric power. Accordingly, most dams have operated on an annual or seasonal schedule that reflects demand for storage capacity or water delivery and on a daily or weekly schedule that reflects hourly fluctuations in the value of hydroelectric power. In the meantime, public interests that might previously have been considered distantly secondary or even frivolous have become potentially serious con- siderations affecting the operation of dams. These include fisheries that were produced incidentally to impoundment, recreational boating or rafting, welfare of aquatic life, protection of culturally significant sites, and even aesthetic preferences. A case in point is the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. There was never any doubt that Glen Canyon Dam would change the Colorado River. The dam traps the river's sediment and thus replaces turbid, sediment-laden water with clear water that is hungry for sediment, but many of the environmental effects downstream of the dam were not fully under- stood at the beginning of the GCES. Water drawn through turbines at great ix

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x Preface depth is constantly cold, even in the Arizona summer. The seasonal swing of discharge, which originally spanned an amplitude as much as 1 00-fold, was replaced by a rhythm reflecting hourly changes in the market for electricity. These were the most obvious consequences of the dam. No doubt some experts also foresaw indirect consequences, but until recently these have been poorly documented. They include displacement of native fishes through the chilling of the river, as well as depletion and redistribution of sediment in ways that affect camping and backwaters of importance to aquatic life. The dam has caused physical changes in culturally important sites and has led to the development of a new suite of riparian vegetation. The aesthetic features of the riverthrough the Grand Canyon, although difficult to quantify, also have changed. Changes in resources otherthan power end waterdeliverycan potentially be controlled or moderated by adjustments in the operation of Glen Canyon Dam. Operational changes could be used in building and preserving beaches, stabilizing backwaters, improving the propagation of native fishes, protecting cultural sites, and optimizing the aesthetic experience of visitors to the canyon. Even so, these possibilities present complications, including sacrifice of power revenue, potential conflict among optimal operating re- gimes for different resources, and unintended consequences less desirable than the status quo. The scarcity of information on environmental resources has slowed consideration of alternative operating schemes for Glen Canyon Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) took a significant step in acknowledging the need for information when it authorized the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies (GCES) in 1982. Although at first narrowly centered around Glen Canyon Dam (hence the specific reference to it), the GCES expanded as it became clear that the operation of Glen Canyon Dam directly affects numerous environmental resources along the more than 250 miles of the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead. In this way, GCES became the vehicle by which the river corridor was first recognized as an integrated environmental system that responcis to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam. Quite apart from the information that it has produced, GCES has been important in redefining the scope of responsibility for management of Glen Canyon Dam. The purpose of this report and the committee's task has been to review research that has been done in connection with the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies and to comment on the application of science in the management program for the Colorado River. Perceiving the need for

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Preface xi independent review and oversight of the GCES, the BOR requested the formation of a National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NRC) review committee through the NRC's Water Science and Technology Board. The committee began its work in 1986 and has continued through several phases of reauthorization to the present. Since 1986, ~ has made numerous recommendations, some of which have affected the design of GCES. The committee has considered not only the technical aspects of environmental studies, which will affect the future operation of Glen Canyon Dam, but also the broader significance of GCES as an example of large governmental ecosystem studies. This report reviews GCES reports received by the committee through July 1995. Strong political and institutional forces meet in the Grand Canyon. The present report deals with technical issues but also attempts to describe as completely as possible all of the factors that explain the successes and failures of the GCES program. The report finds many shortcomings in GCES. In identifying and analyzing them, the committee has been increasingly aware that problems associated with GCES have, in large part, been a reflection of the federal government's lack of experience in conducting studies that deal comprehensively with many kinds of resources in an ecosystem context. In addition, the committee has seen that most of the deficiencies in GCES derive from the organizational culture of federal agencies, which are not well acclimated to easy collaboration with each other or with external scientific and technical communities. Many of the problems brought out by the committee's analysis of GCES are not attributable to the individual project participants. In fact, one irony of GCES is that it has benefited from the energies of numerous remarkably dedicated and knowledgeable individuals but has still shown majorflaws that were essentially beyond the control of the individual participants. Despite its flaws, GCES has been the catalyst for major changes in the operation of Glen Canyon Dam. In fact, if seen as an example of interaction between science and environmental resource management, GCES is an extraordinary success. The BOR deserves much credit for adapting its management practices to new knowledge of the environmental system as produced through GCES. The committee's work on GCES has extended over a far longer interval than most NRC committee projects. The committee benefited enormously from the efforts of Sheila David, the NRC study director. Throughout its nine years of operation, she provided the thread of continuity that maintained the focus and purpose of the committee. She ensured sound management of the

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xIi Preface committee's resources, both financial and intellectual, and provided a rational voice in all committee debates. Her intelligence and skill are an integral part of every product of the committee. In addition, the committee thanks Mary Beth Morris, WSTB project assistant, for all her help during committee meet- ings and with the production of this report. The NRC committee and the BOR have benefited from the guidance and assistance of GOES project manager David Wegner, whose investments of time, energy, and intellectual interest in the research being conducted in the GOES program have been invaluable. The committee also received much assistance from numerous other in- dividuals of the NRC staff and of the cooperating agencies and the Native American tribes that kept the committee informed and encouraged its work. William M. Lewis, Jr. Chair Committee to Review the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Work of the NRC Committee, 2 Objectives and Design of the GCES, 2 Results of the GCES, 3 Achievements of GCES, 8 List of NRC Reports, 8 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Roleofthe NRC, 17 References, 23 SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE GLEN CANYON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES Introduction, 24 Scope as Defined by Management Options, Resources, and the Ecosystem Concept, 24 Other Influences on the Scope of GCES, 31 Organization of the Study Group, 33 Conclusions, 35 References, 36 xiii 1 11 24

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xiv HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF GLEN CANYON DAM History of Grand Canyon National Park, 41 Future Basis for Management of Grand Canyon Resources, 45 References, 48 4 OPERATION OF GLEN CANYON DAM Introduction, 50 Hydrology Through the Grand Canyon, 51 Operating Rules for Glen Canyon Dam, 56 Water Supply Above the Dam, 61 Recommendations, 68 References, 68 SEDIMENT AND GEOMORPHOLOGY Why Sediment and Geomorphology Are Important, 70 Sediment Studies of GOES Phase 1, 72 What Is Needed Concerning Sediment and Geomorphology, 76 Where We Stand Now, 81 Recommendations, 81 References, 83 6 ORGANISMS AND BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES Introduction, 84 Lake Powell, 85 The Colorado River Between Glen Canyon Dam and the Paria River, 96 The Colorado River from the Paria River to Lake Mead, 100 The Riparian Zone, 108 Outcomes of Biological Studies, 1 10 References, 111 7 RECREATION AND NONUSE VALUES The Role of Economic Values in GOES and the EIS, 1 18 Overview of Recreational Uses, 120 Economic Effects of Dam Operation on Recreation, 125 Summary of Effects of Dam Operations on Recreation, 131 Studies of Nonuse Value, 131 Summary, 134 References, 135 Contents 38 50 70 84 118

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Contents 8 CULTURAL RESOURCES Native Americans in the Grand Canyon Region, 138 Archaeological Studies, 147 Ethnographic Studies, 150 Summary, 160 Recommendations, 161 References, 161 9 POWER ECONOMICS Introduction, 165 Flows Affect Electrical Output and Costs, 166 The Institutional Context, 168 Cost Estimates for Altered Flow Regimes, 171 Recommendations, 181 References, 184 10 INSTITUTIONAL INFLUENCES ON THE GLEN CANYON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES Institutional Structure of GCES, 186 Interagency Conflict in the Evolution of GCES, 190 Goal Substitution by Agencies Working for GCES, 194 External Review-GCES and the NRC, 197 The Role of Funding in GCES, 199 Time Constraints in GCES Research, 203 Future Institutions, 204 Recommendations, 204 References, 206 xv 137 165 186 11 LESSONS OF THE GLEN CANYON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES 209 Introduction, 209 Elements of a Useful Ecosystem Analysis, 210 Completion and Anticipation of Future Needs, 216 Achievements of GCES, 217 A Hopeful View of the Future, 221 References, 221 APPENDIX A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and NRC Staff 222