Glen Canyon Dam
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Glen Canyon Dam

December 17, 2004
The construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in the late 1950s opened the door to new opportunities in the U.S. Southwest at the same time that it closed the door on others. The dam, Lake Powell (the reservoir created upstream), and a short section of the river downstream are pictured in this image captured by the Ikonos satellite on September 21, 2004. Located near the state line between Utah in the north and Arizona to the south, the Glen Canyon Dam is part of the water management system that transforms the Colorado's yearly flow from a once-a-year “blow out” of unpredictable volume (fueled by snowmelt and spring storms) to a regular and reliable source of water for people as far away as California. The water management strategy created opportunities for millions of people to live, work, and farm in arid or semi-arid areas that wouldn't otherwise be hospitable. The dam also generates hydroelectric power.

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