The Drought Response Operations Agreement (DROA) and the DROA Framework document highlight the ability of the DROA Parties to review and amend any DROA Plan in response to changing hydrologic conditions. In response to the 2023 January and February 24-Month Studies’ Most Probable and Minimum Probable positive inflow forecasts, and the resulting projected increase in elevation at Lake Powell, it was determined by the Upper Division States (UDS) and the UCRC that DROA releases from Flaming Gorge reservoir are no longer necessary to achieve their intended elevation protection objective.
Through February, UDS and UCRC staff developed an amendment to the 2022 DROA Plan to terminate DROA releases at Flaming Gorge on March 1st through the remainder of the 2022 DROA year, resulting in a reduced total DROA release volume of 40,000 acre-feet (ac-ft).
On February 27, 2023, the UCRC conducted a virtual Special Meeting (the 300th meeting of the UCRC) to adopt the 2022 DROA Amendment and its transmittal to Reclamation. The following two-part motion was adopted unanimously by the UCRC Commissioners:
That the Upper Division States, acting through the Upper Colorado River Commission, approve an amendment to Attachment C to the 2022 DROA Plan in substantially the same form as the provided document while preserving the possibility by separate amendment of recovery actions during the 2022 Plan year.
Further, the Upper Division States and UCRC staff are directed to confer with Reclamation and the Lower Division States as soon as possible regarding the disposition of the 480,000 acre-feet 2022 Cooperative Action, DROA 2023 Plan Recovery, and potential balancing releases in WY 2023.