Colorado River Water Conservation Programs

In October the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBOR) began soliciting project proposals in the Lower Basin states for water conservation from Colorado River entitlement holders in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Demand management and conservation measures are also being discussed for water users in the river's Upper Basin as a part of a Contingency Planning process to address future shortages. The Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the USBOR are providing up to $11 million to pay for new Colorado River “System Conservation Agreements” as pilot projects.  The projects are intended to demonstrate the viability of cooperative, voluntary projects to reduce demand for Colorado River water and to increase “system” water available for storage in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. The program began soliciting project proposals from agriculture, industrial, and municipal Colorado River water users. "Our goal is to put in place a suite of proactive, voluntary measures that will reduce our risk of reaching critical reservoir levels," the USBOR Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp said. "This pilot program is a good first step toward reaching that goal and, depending upon its success, could be expanded in the future."