The Law of the Colorado River: Conflict and Collaboration
The mighty Colorado River is a source of life flowing through seven Western U.S. states and Mexico, providing water to nearly 40 million people; it’s the backbone of agriculture, tourism, recreation, irrigation, and hydropower industries in the West. The river basin has a complex history of governance at the State, Federal, and local level known as the “Law of the River.” Famously over-allocated at the time of signing, the Colorado River Compact of 1922 is the cornerstone of the Law of the River and dictates the management of the river’s flows between Upper Basin and Lower Basin states.
How do water managers take on an already over-allocated river with growing stressors such as drought, climate change and an ever-growing population? What will happen if water levels continue to drop in Lake Powell and Lake Mead? What is a “compact call” and what will it mean for Western states, as well as Eagle County as a headwaters community?
Join John McClow, Anne Castle, Pat Mulroy and Eric Kuhn and learn from these experts intimately involved in the management of the Colorado River Upper and Lower basins for answers to these questions as well as the innovative strategies being implemented to combat the growing threats to the river such as the Drought Contingency Plan, System Conservation Pilot Program, Minute 319 & 323 and more.
This program is presented in partnership with the Eagle River Watershed Council.
Eagle River Watershed Council
Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation
UNLV’s Brookings Mountain West
Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District
Former General Manager
Colorado River District
University of Colorado