Environmental Law & Policy Alert – Update from Somach Simmons & Dunn

As the 2021 Water Year Closes, a Look Forward, and Back, at Colorado River Implementation of the DCP and the Drought Operations Response Agreement

At the close of the 2021 Water Year in October, the Colorado River basin remains in significant drought, despite summer monsoons and early fall precipitation across the West. This summer, the Upper Basin States to the Colorado River Compact – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming – implemented the first ever coordinated release of 181,000 acre-feet (AF) of water from three reservoirs on the Colorado River to increase storage supplies at Lake Powell. While 181,000 AF represents a relatively small amount of water relative to Lake Powell’s existing storage supplies or the Upper Basin’s delivery obligations under the Compact, the release signaled the beginning of a new stage of critical planning around Compact compliance. As those water releases come to a close by December 2021, all stakeholders are closely watching Reclamation’s Colorado River forecasts and activities in the Colorado River basin to prepare for Water Year 2022. … Read More

Written by Daniel F. McCarl