Lake Powell

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Earlier this week, Navajo farmers in New Mexico voted to keep irrigation canals along the San Juan River closed for at least a year. They have concerns about soil contamination following the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado. Meanwhile, officials in Page are worried about the incident causing a drain on the local economy, even though scientists say Lake Powell remains mostly unaffected.  Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

AP/Matt York

Arizona environmental officials say they don’t expect the Gold King Mine spill to have any negative impacts to the state’s watershed. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they say Lake Powell will likely disperse the waste made up of several heavy metals.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

The toxic plume from the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado last week is no longer visible as it’s mixed with the murky San Juan River. Officials say it’s uncertain whether the polluted water has reached Lake Powell. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Office of Emergency Management in La Plata County Colorado

A massive wastewater spill from a Colorado mine is expected to reach Lake Powell sometime this week.

About three million gallons of wastewater poured into the Animas River last Wednesday after a breach at a defunct gold mine near Silverton. The contaminated water has reached the San Juan River in New Mexico, which flows into Lake Powell on the Colorado River. 

Cynthia Sequanna is a spokesperson for the National Park Service.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is wrapping up a project to replace the giant turbine runners that produce electricity at Glen Canyon Dam.

Rick Clayton works in the bureau's Upper Colorado Region power office. He says energy production from the dam near the Arizona-Utah border is expected to increase by 3 percent when the work is done this year.

The dam that holds back Lake Powell produces enough energy to power about 600,000 households annually.

The price tag for replacing the eight turbines is almost $40 million.

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