Dam release sends rush of water on Gunnison River

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Montrose, Colo. (AP) - The National Park Service says a torrent of water rushing into Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is the beginning of healing the park's ecosystem.

Roughly two million gallons a minute poured into the park Wednesday from Crystal Dam, marking the end of a 36–year effort by the Park Service to mimic natural spring runoff to cleanse the Gunnison River through the canyon.

The river's natural flow was blocked in the 1970s by dams built by the Bureau of Reclamation.

In January, a Colorado water court formally adopted an agreement among state and federal officials, water users and conservation groups to ensure enough flows through the canyon for a healthy ecosystem and needs of irrigation, recreation and hydropower production.

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