The Politics of the Glen Canyon Dam: Challenging the Status Quo of Water Policy in the West
AbstractThe struggle to appropriate Colorado River water, while striving to mitigate the negative impacts of doing so, embodies the very essence of Western water policy. One of its defining controversies is over the Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell. During the past decade, groups and individuals have openly opposed the presence and operation of the Glen Canyon Dam. These groups claim that the environmental and cultural costs of the dam outweigh its benefits. State and federal decision makers presently think otherwise. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the actors who are striving to influence policy on the Glen Canyon Dam, their specific arguments, and the effects their efforts have had or likely will have. The paper concludes that while support for the proposal to decommission the dam is growing, it appears unlikely that any political decision to do so will occur in the near future.
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