Demand Management Storage Agreement (DMSA)

The DMSA authorizes the storage of up to 500,000 acre-feet of water in the Colorado River Storage Project Act (CRSPA) Initial Units if and when a Demand Management program is created in the Upper Basin. The DMSA does not require that a Demand Management program be established. Rather, it provides the legal mechanism to store water conserved under a Demand Management program if, and only if, the Upper Division States and the Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) agree to the feasibility and requirements of such a program. They must also consult with the Lower Division States and reach an agreement with the Secretary of the Interior on specific operations.


The DMSA sets forth a set of sequential steps for considering and approving any Demand Management program. Currently, the Upper Division States and UCRC are engaged in the DM investigation to determine whether or not a demand management program is feasible in the Upper Basin.

If a program is determined to be feasible, there are additional steps that must be undertaken before the implementation of an Upper Basin Demand Management program. A brief explanation of each step follows: