River District to Play Key Role in Conservation Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada — At this morning’s Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) meeting held in concert with the Colorado River Water User’s Association (CRWUA) Conference, the Commission formally released a Request for Proposal re-initiating a System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) beginning spring 2023. The Program aims to reduce consumptive use through temporary, voluntary, and compensated measures across the Upper Division States and allocates up to $125 million for the re-initiation with the potential to increase in scale. This action implements the first element of the UCRC’s 5-Point Plan released in July 2022.
Colorado River District General Manager Andy Mueller responded that a program of this scale and speed poses as much risk and opportunity as a Demand Management program, therefore it is critical how the program is implemented.
“It is vital to the health of our communities and our agricultural industry that the River District have a decision-making role in this program, consistent with past implementation of a previously-authorized System Conservation Pilot Program, and we want to thank Commissioner Mitchell for her commitment to recognize the River District’s role in that effort,” Mueller said.
Commissioner Mitchell provided a written commitment stating that “in the event the source of the water and the place of beneficial use of a prospective applicant’s SCPP project is located within the boundaries of the District, enrollment in the SCPP will be subject to approval of the application by both the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and the District.”
In Commissioner Mitchell’s own release today, she stated, “We must continue to live within the means of what the river provides year to year and we ask others to do the same. This is the only way the system will continue as we know it into the future.”