Seven Colorado River Basin States Initiate Collaboration on Operational Guidelines

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On December 17, Colorado joined Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to begin preliminary discussions regarding the upcoming negotiations of the Colorado River Basin operational guidelines. 

Governors’ representatives from each of the Colorado River Basin States signed a joint letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman requesting technical support from the federal agency as the states move forward with these discussions. Colorado’s Upper Colorado River Commissioner Rebecca Mitchell signed the letter on behalf of Colorado.

Involved states will be considering future recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior regarding operational guidelines for Lake Powell and Lake Mead beyond 2026. 

“Colorado will continue leading the effort with the other Colorado River Basin States on negotiating the next set of operational guidelines to ensure western water is managed effectively and sustainably, and during the process will engage with all groups invested in the outcome including water users, the Tribal Nations, Mexico, and non-governmental organizations,” said Commissioner Mitchell. “As we continue to face climate change impacts, including persistent drought, working together to find solutions to our water challenges is more important than ever.”