The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) is an interstate water administrative agency established by action of five state legislatures and Congress with the enactment of the 1948 Upper Colorado River Basin Compact. The Commission’s role is to ensure the appropriate allocation of water from the Colorado River to the Upper Division States of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico and to ensure water is released in accordance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact to the Lower Division States of Nevada, Arizona, and California and to the Republic of Mexico.

The Commission seeks to promote interstate comity, remove causes of present and future controversies, and to assure the storage of water and agricultural and industrial development of the Upper Basin. The Commission is comprised of one representative appointed by the Governor of each Upper Division State and one member appointed by the President to represent the United States.


The UCRC will conduct its 298th Regular Meeting in-person at the Colorado River Water Users Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Date/Time: Dec. 14, 2022 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Location: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada


Article VIII(d)(13) of the Upper Colorado River Basin Compact requires the Upper Colorado River Commission to “make and transmit annually to the Governors of the signatory States and the President of the United States of America, with the estimated budget, a report covering the activities of the Commission for the preceding water year.”

Article VIII(1) of the By-Laws of the Commission specifies that “the Commission shall make and transmit annually before July 1 to the Governors of the states signatory to the Upper Colorado River Basin Compact and to the President of the United States a report covering the activities of the Commission for the water year ending the preceding September 30.”

This Seventy-Third Annual Report of the Upper Colorado River Commission has been compiled pursuant to the above directives.

Annual Reports

The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) has undertaken an investigation into the feasibility of the implementation of a Demand Management Program in the Upper Basin as part of its Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). UCRC’s investigation covers a wide array of issues and analyses related to demand management and has put forward a centralized repository of extant demand management information, including resources and links back to intrastate investigation materials hosted by the Upper Division States.

More on the Demand Management Investigation

On May 20, 2019, the interstate Drought Contingency Plans (DCPs) agreements were signed and became effective for both the Upper and Lower Colorado River basins.  The DCPs are designed to reduce risks to the Colorado River from ongoing historic drought exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

The Department of Interior was involved in the development of the DCPs and is a party to both the Upper and Lower Basin DCPs.  The Republic of Mexico also has agreed to participate in drought contingency planning efforts through its commitments under Minute 323 to the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty. (Photo credit: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.)

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The System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) was a 4-year pilot program designed to explore potential solutions in regards to declining water levels in Lakes Mead and Powell, as well as the potential for long-term drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The program implemented and tested on-the-ground water conservation opportunities which may be helpful in managing ongoing record drought conditions in the Colorado River Basin.

The purpose of the program was to explore and learn about the effectiveness of temporary, voluntary, and compensated measures that could be used, when needed, to help maintain water levels in Lake Powell necessary to protect Colorado River compact entitlements and hydroelectric power production.

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