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Weekly Low Water Update from GCNRA: December 29th, 2021

Weekly Low Water Update from GCNRA: December 29th, 2021
December 29
12:57 2021

Weekly Low Water Update – 2021 Accomplishments 

December 29, 2021

Dear Partners:

In 2021, Lake Powell dropped to unprecedented low water levels and Bureau of Reclamation projections indicate it will continue to drop.

2021 accomplishments to fulfill the park’s Congressional mandate, “… to provide for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of Lake Powell and lands adjacent thereto and to preserve the scenic, scientific, and historic features contributing to public enjoyment of the area….”  Related to National Park Service ((NPS) low water operations on Lake Powell:

  1. Lake Powell Recreation and Public Enjoyment: This was achieved in 2021, with thanks to partner businesses operating within the park (concessioners and Commercial Use Authorization permittees).
  • The park succeeded in providing motorized boating access to Lake Powell with at least one launch ramp in South Lake Powell and one launch ramp in North Lake Powell.
  • Rehabilitation of the legacy Stateline Auxiliary Ramp and ongoing construction in 2022 ensures long term access to south Lake Powell.
  • The park initiated a project contract to extend the Bullfrog North Ramp; to be completed in April 2022.
  • Where topography allowed, boiler plate ramp extensions were installed at multiple boat launch locations. This included interim use of a legacy asphalt “spur road” on the side of the Bullfrog Main Ramp.
  1. Infrastructure: In other 2021 low-water projects, the park and our concessioners have scrambled to move marinas, docks, slips and walkways, and chaseways for utility lines (fuel, electricity, wastewater, water). The park provides almost all utilities in its visitor use areas.
  • The park’s drinking water systems have been systematically evaluated and are being improved where necessary to ensure continued ability to meet changing hydrologic conditions.
  1. Looking Forward: In 2021, the park contracted with Jacobs Government Solutions to explore long term solutions and options in four visitor use areas: public launch ramps at Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, Antelope Point, and a primitive launch and takeout ramp on the Colorado River in the Hite area.
  • This work will result in concept design information in January 2022 about possible actions to maintain visitor access and estimated costs associated with the suite of options.
  • Funding to implement these projects has not yet been secured.
  1. Preserve the Scenic, Scientific, and Historic Features: As a federal agency, all NPS undertakings must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and other applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
  • NPS consultation and coordination with state and federal agencies, affiliated tribes, partners, and stakeholders ensures protection of our park’s natural and cultural resources.

We look forward to sending updates and connecting with you, especially as more things begin to materialize. The park has appreciated your support and advocacy in 2021. We look forward to working with you in 2022.

Weekly Low Water Update from GCNRA: December 29th, 2021 - overview

Summary: Weekly Low Water Update from GCNRA: December 29th, 2021

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