Reclamation conducting aerial survey of lower Colorado River

Colorado River

The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting an aerial survey of the lower Colorado River and mainstream reservoirs from Hoover Dam to the international border with Mexico, between Nov. 21, 2021, and Dec. 20, 2021, to collect high-resolution topo-bathymetry data.

Hoover Dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona, just southeast of Las Vegas. It impounds water for a powerhouse with a capacity of 2,078 MW.

An airplane operated under contract with Reclamation will make low-level flights over part of the lower Colorado River and reservoirs. Throughout the aerial survey timeframe, hourly reservoir releases and river heights during portions of the day may be more variable than typical for this time of year to optimize survey data collection. Although these releases fall within normal operational parameters, lower than normal river flows may expose or create natural hazards such as sandbars, gravel bars, unstable riverbanks, floating or submerged debris, or other unfamiliar obstacles.

Data collected from this work will inform planning, operations and analyses across multiple Reclamation and Colorado River programs.

Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the U.S.

Author

  • Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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