Colorado River


The Colorado River is the lifeline for much of the West. It provides water and electricity for people throughout the region, including residents of Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque. It also irrigates over 3 million acres (1.2 million ha) of crops and pasture, provides abundant recreational opportunities for rafting, fishing, boating, and hiking, and serves as habitat for a multitude of fish and wildlife species, including several endangered native fish.

New Report: Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science

In recent decades, increasing water demand, dry conditions, and warming temperatures have impacted the Colorado River, creating greater uncertainty about the future of the basin’s water supply. With support and guidance from over a dozen federal, state, and local water agencies, WWA researchers teamed up with leading experts to integrate nearly 800 peer-reviewed studies, agency reports, and other sources to assess the state of the science and technical practice relevant to water resources in the Colorado River Basin. Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science aims to create a shared understanding of the physical setting and the latest data, tools, and research underpinning the management of Colorado River water resources. In identifying both challenges and opportunities, the report will guide water resource managers and researchers in efforts to improve the short-term and mid-term forecasts and long-term projections for the basin's water system. Read more ...


Drought and Climate Change

Selected research papers, reports, and other resources which collectively show the progress in our understanding of the variability of climate and hydrology in the Colorado River Basin and the potential impacts of future climate change.

Management & Policy

Selected reports and other documents establishing or commenting on the "Law of the River" and the management of the Colorado River.

1922 Compact Transcripts

The complete transcripts of the 27 sessions of negotiations among the representatives of the seven basin states and the Federal government, leading to the Colorado River Compact of 1922.