Colorado River Water Management

Long-Range Operating Criteria

The Long-Range Operating criteria originally established in 1970 are to control the coordinated long-range operation of the storage reservoirs in the Colorado River Basin constructed under the authority of the Colorado River Storage Project Act and the Boulder Canyon Project Act. The criteria are reviewed periodically.

Basin States Agreement

The governors’ representatives for the seven Colorado River Basin states on April 23, 2007, signed an Agreement Concerning Colorado River Management and Operations that memorialized the consensus recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior for Colorado River management and operations during an interim period through 2025, set forth agreements regarding pursuit of system augmentation and efficiency projects, and established a process for the resolution of claims and controversies between the states in an effort to set aside long standing disputes on the river.

Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead

These guidelines address the operations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead during drought and low reservoir storage conditions for an interim period through 2025. The Bureau of Reclamation in December 2007 completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the guidelines, and the Secretary of the Interior in December 2007 signed the Record of Decision on the guidelines.

Annual Operating Plans for Colorado River System Reservoirs

The Colorado River Basin Projects Act requires the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Colorado River Basin states and other interests, to prepare an Annual Operating Plans for Colorado River System Reservoirs. The plan is developed through meetings of the Colorado River Management Work Group.

International Boundary and Water Commission

The International Boundary and Water Commission administers the provisions of the Mexican Water Treaty.

Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program seeks to: (1) restore and maintain populations of native species, including endangered humpback chub, in the Colorado River corridor between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead; (2) maintain a rainbow trout fishery between the dam and the Paria River confluence; (3) conserve sediment resources in Glen, Marble and Grand canyons to improve recreational experiences and preserve cultural resources; and (4) maintain hydroelectric power generation at Glen Canyon Dam. The Adaptive Management Work Group is a committee chartered by the Secretary of the Interior to provide technical information, activity recommendations and advice to the Secretary on the program, including for the development of experimental plans for Glen Canyon Dam releases such as the Long-Term Experimental Plan and the experimental plan for 2008 through 2012. The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, organized under the U.S. Geological Survey, operates within the program to define research objectives and develop monitoring programs to meet information needs of the program.