Grand Canyon National Park Lifts Water Restrictions Following Weeks of Pipeline Breaks

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) officials issued a number of water restrictions and conservation measures. The closures came after the Transcanyon Pipeline, one of the main pipelines feeding the national park, burst. The burst caused serious concerns about a water shortage, but now, weeks later, GRCA officials have lifted water restriction measures. As of now, water tanks on both of the park’s rims are at sufficient levels.

Nevertheless, in the aftermath of the burst pipe, officials are still urging visitors to Grand Canyon National Park to practice water conservation methods at all times. According to KTAR News per park guidelines, this includes turning off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, washing only full loads of dishes or laundry, and reporting leaks and wasteful water use to “appropriate” staff.

Further, in order to prevent massive water loss should other major pipelines burst in the future, Grand Canyon National Park officials now plan to put restrictions in place based on water levels at specified times. In order to combat serious water waste, future initiatives could include using disposable dishes and utensils in restaurants and requiring low-water usage in the maintenance of hotel rooms.

In regard to Grand Canyon National Park campsites, future water conservation efforts could include closing off public laundry and shower facilities. RV dump/fill stations may also potentially see temporary closures.

Grand Canyon National Park Suffers Multiple Pipe Breaks a Year

While the last month in Grand Canyon National Park has been fraught with water shortages and officials working hard to encourage conservation practices, the National Park Service states the park’s major pipeline, which flows from Roaring Springs—a natural spring 3,500 feet below the North Rim—actually suffers leaks and breaks multiple times per year.

Per the NPS website, the breaks are simply a result of age. So large storage tanks are intended only to bypass the time it takes for repairers to fix the pipeline.

Nevertheless, whether or not there happens to be an ongoing burst during your visit, you should always have plenty of water on hand while visiting Grand Canyon. This is important for all individuals, including hikers, campers, or even just daytime visitors.

Although fall weather has slowly begun to drop the overall temperature at Grand Canyon National Park, summertime temperatures pose an especially serious risk. Temperatures in the South Rim of the park remain pretty bearable throughout the summer, averaging somewhere in the 80°s. However, other parts of the national park can reach scorching temperatures of 100° F or more.

The GRCA has a full list of its water supply stations and their locations within the park. The list shows in real time which locations currently have water turned on or off. While restrictions have been lifted the NPS advised that as repairs continue on the pipeline, water may be temporarily turned off at certain stations.