Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition

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Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition


November 2016: Wyoming & Colorado River Report

When the Wyoming Water Development Commission and members of the Select Water Committee of the Wyoming Legislature raised questions related to our rights and abilities regarding the Colorado River in late 2015, it was fitting that this office step up and offer to create a document to address the issue of Wyoming’s role in the management of the Colorado River. That document can be found at the link below. It is my sincere hope that having this Law of the River summary, and its Wyoming effects, distilled down to essential components and hopefully written for a wide audience, will be helpful as these and other groups and individuals forgeWyoming’s future in the basin.


The intent of this Report is to inform its readers about the current issues on the river, Wyoming’s uses of the river, and to describe the varied laws, compacts, decrees, operating plans, and other instruments that have come to be as uses of the Colorado River Basin have matured and evolved since the early 1900s. It also discusses the effects of those instruments in and on Wyoming. Whatis our role as a Colorado River Basin State? What benefits do we get from the compacts on the river, and are we also constrained by them? Should we care about uses of water in Mexico? Should we care about the salinity of the water diverted at the All-American Canal in California? Might endangered fish in Utah affect water use in Wyoming?


Our hope is to delve into these important questions, and more, in a way that educates water managers, appropriators, our citizenry and governmental officials across the state. The Colorado is a complex river basin, often misunderstood and the subject of many an urban myth. In the coming pages, we hope you’ll learn more about this marvelous resource and Wyoming’s place at the table.

To view this report, please click here