Glen Canyon Dam

Last Updated on May 4, 2014





Glen Canyon Dam is the principal water storage unit of the Colorado River Storage Project .  Glen Canyon Dam impounds Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the country.The Glen Canyon Dam is specially constructed to hold back the river while allowing controlled amounts of water to pass through the dam to generate power and provide water for downstream users. The Glenn canyon annually provides approximately 4.5 billion kilowatt-hours of power.


Glen Canyon Facts:

  • Height above bedrock – 710 feet
  • Navajo sandstone forms the canyon walls at the damsite and throughout most of the reservoir basin.
  • During construction of Glen Canyon Dam, 18 workers died in various kinds of accidents. All were accounted for.
  • About 2,600 gallons per minute of water will seep into the dam.
  • It would take 2.5 million tons of coal or 11 million barrels of oil each year to generate the same amount of power the Dam produces.
  • Federal endangered species living in the Grand Canyon below the dam include the humpback chub, razorback sucker, southwestern willow flycatcher and the Kanab ambersnail.
  • The dam itself could be in place indefinitely. However, it is currently estimated that the lake will fill with silt in 700 to 1,000 years. This could be considered the effective life of the project.


What is a dam you have visited? What did you find interesting about it?