Grand Canyon Flush Aims to Revive Colorado River

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The Grand Canyon will get a bath Wednesday — literally. The federal government hopes a 60-hour, controlled flood will help revitalize the Colorado River and replenish backwaters for several of the river's endangered species.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

The Grand Canyon is getting a bath. Earlier today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne helped unleash an enormous manmade flood from the Grand Canyon dam into the Colorado River.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

The flooding will go on for 60 hours. It's meant to replenish the river's dwindling beaches and backwaters, and help save the canyon's endangered humpback chub fish.

SIEGEL: Just how much water does it take to flush the Grand Canyon? Try 41,500 cubic feet per second. According to Secretary Kempthorne, that's enough to fill the Empire State Building with water in about 20 minutes. But so far, as we know, there's no plan to do that.

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