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 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 State Commissioners to the Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) agree to the feasibility and requirements of such a program after consulting with the Lower Division States and reaching agreement with the Secretary of the Interior on specific operations and determine there is a need for such a program. If no program is established, the storage space will not be used.

The DMSA sets forth a set of sequential steps for considering and approving any Demand Management program. Currently, the Upper Division States are in the initial feasibility stage of the process and must make a finding of feasibility before moving on to the additional requirements.

Before a demand management program could be implemented the following four steps must be taken. A brief explanation of each step follows: