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Understanding Groundwater Vulnerability in Grand Canyon

Gaining clarity about the canyon's groundwater resources through dye tracing.

BA Wash Dye Injection Cropped

Water may be the most valuable resource at Grand Canyon National Park. Water provides life for every animal and plant species within the park. It translates into joy and life-changing experiences for every adventurer who navigates the Colorado River or cools off beneath one of Grand Canyon's iconic waterfalls.

Critically, groundwater is also a vulnerable resource in Grand Canyon. Climate change means decreasing water levels. And, as millions of visitors flock to Grand Canyon National Park each year, continued development on both the South Rim and North Rim drives a pressing need to understand how best to use, conserve, and protect the canyon's water supply.

One of the most effective ways to gain clarity on this crucial resource is through dye tracing. Using this approach, scientists inject harmless dyes into sinkholes and faults on the rims. They then trace the dyes to springs and other water sources in Grand Canyon, which allows an accurate assessment of flow paths, levels, quality, and more. 

As our planet records hotter, dryer years, this effort must happen as soon as possible. Dye tracing studies will be essential to helping park leaders make well-informed decisions about using this precious resource.

Your Gift: Clarity about Grand Canyon groundwater

Your generous gift will:

  • Support the staff, materials, and scientific equipment needed to conduct dye tracing studies regarding Grand Canyon groundwater supplies.
  • Facilitate the ongoing collection and analysis of park groundwater data.
  • Ensure well-informed decisions about park water resource management.
Ed keable grca headshot min

Ed Keable

Superintendent Grand Canyon National Park

“Wise resource management depends on data. If we can't accurately assess the park's groundwater resources, then we're operating in the dark. A dye tracing study is an absolute necessity.”

Fundraising Goal


Project Partners

Grand Canyon National Park
National Park Service
US Geological Survey
Grand Canyon Conservancy


Contact us to receive more information about this project.