Location: SCR 352
Colorado River Compact Issues
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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03:32 PM -- Colorado River Compact Issues
John Stulp, Governor's Special Policy Advisor on Water, Becky Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), and Kevin Rein, State Engineer, gave an overview of the Colorado River Compact. A copy of their presentation can be found at: http://leg.colorado.gov/node/929991/. Mr. Stulp discussed the ten-year rolling average of the river flow at Lee's Ferry. He also discussed the 2007 Interim Guidelines and how they were established to manage shortages in the Lower Basin under the compact.
Dr. Stulp also discussed Minute 319 and Minute 323, which amend the 1944 treaty between the United States and Mexico regarding the sharing of Colorado River water between the two countries. He also discussed historical flows into Lake Powell and the impact of recent droughts on water levels in the lake. He further explained contingency planning that is ongoing regarding the management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead and how it relates to the minimum pool required to generate electricity at Lake Powell.
Dr. Stulp explained recent efforts by Upper Basin states to manage water under the compact, including recent demand management strategies. He also explained the need for long-term mechanisms for addressing the structural deficit in the Lower Basin states and for drought contingency plans. Dr. Stulp responded to committee questions regarding contingency planning in the Upper Basin states.
Ms. Mitchell discussed CWCB's role in interstate water issues and the conceptual framework included in the Colorado Water Plan (CWP) regarding the protection of existing and future uses of Colorado water users. She also explained other interstate water initiatives included in the CWP.
Mr. Rein discussed the Division of Water Resources' role in administrating water rights that may be associated with the compact. Mr. Rein responded to committee questions regarding shepherding water rights to downstream users. Dr. Stulp discussed the state's role in the Western States Water Council.