June 22, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 173

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Federal Government Continues Efforts to Reform Colorado River Operations

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) is seeking public comments on new strategies to replace the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead that will expire at the end of 2026. Building on the Lower Colorado Basin States’ compromise of May 22, 2023, under which California, Arizona, and Nevada agreed to voluntarily conserve three million acre-feet of water over the next three years, DOI began a public process on June 15, 2023, to attempt to “modernize” the way Colorado River water is distributed.

Years of severe drought, developing climate change, and a historic over-estimation of the amount of water available compel a new look at the Colorado River Compact of 1922, which provides for annual water allocations to the Upper and Lower Basins, and at a 1944 treaty, under which Colorado River water is delivered to Mexico. DOI will host three virtual public meetings/webinars to provide summary information and receive oral comments in July 2023. See this link for more information.

©2023 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 173
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About this Author

Christopher Thorne Denver Energy Attorney Greenberg Traurig
Of Counsel

Chris Thorne is Of Counsel at Greenberg Traurig's Denver office. He represents energy companies, real estate developers, industrial water users, agricultural water users, and municipal water providers in virtually all types of water related transactions, and in litigation matters and related administrative proceedings involving the adjudication of water rights, changes of water rights, complex plans for augmentation, and water rights disputes.

With more than two decades of experience in Western water law, Chris represents clients in virtually...

303-572-6519
Casey A. Shpall , Environmental Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Denver, Coloardo
Practice Group Attorney

Casey A. Shpall focuses her practice on environmental matters. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, she served in the Colorado Department of Law for over 20 years, most recently as the Deputy Attorney General in the Natural Resources and Environment Section.

303.572.6511
Mary Katherine Andrews Denver Environmental Attorney Greenberg Traurig
Associate

Mary Katherine Andrews is a member of the Environmental Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Denver Office. Her practice focuses on Environmental Litigation and Energy Law, drafting, issuing, and enforcing regulations related to environmental protection.

Mary Katherine advises clients on litigation and enforcement matters, as well as related auditing and compliance matters, under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA...

303-685-7441