Generating Power

Hydroelectric power, generated by water as it passes through turbines in a dam, is clean, non-polluting energy. It is a renewable source of energy which supplies electricity for much of the state.

Colorado dams that produce hydroelectric power include the Wayne N. Aspinall Unit of Blue Mesa, Crystal, and Morrow Point Reservoirs.


Many utility companies and cooperatives providing power to West Slope communities also purchase power at cost through Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which provides hydroelectric power generated through the turbines at Glen Canyon Dam.

With Lake Powell’s elevation steadily dropping as a result of climate change, aridification, population growth, and Lower Basin overuse, the sustainability of hydropower operations at Glen Canyon Dam has grown more uncertain. This uncertainly could factor into local electric bills in the homes of West Slope residents, which goes to show that drought and climate impacts aren’t limited solely to water scarcity issues.


The River District will advocate that the transmountain diverted waters be efficiently used and fully reused to extinction and ensure that mitigation conditions on existing transmountain diversion projects are honored and upheld.

The Colorado River District supports Colorado’s system of prior appropriation as a fair and orderly system for allocating Colorado’s scarce water resources.

The Colorado River District supports federal and state appropriations and programs that support and encourage investment in capital maintenance, including extraordinary maintenance, to address and maintain – and upgrade where possible – the full function and benefit of Colorado’s aging water infrastructure.