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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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 Seventieth Annual Report of the Upper Colorado River Commission has been compiled pursuant to the above directives.

Annual Reports

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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