News October 9, 2018

Wyoming State Engineer Works On Drought Plans

by Jackson Hole. Media

The seven Colorado River Basin States (including Wyoming), the Department of the Interior and water entitlement holders in the Lower Basin have been working diligently on a set of draft Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) agreements to respond to ongoing historic drought conditions and to reduce the likelihood of Colorado River reservoirs – particularly Lake Powell and Lake Mead – further declining to critical elevations. Negotiations on the DCP agreements are nearing completion. The DCP agreements include an Upper Colorado River Basin DCP and a Lower Colorado River Basin DCP.

The Upper Basin DCP is designed to: a) protect critical elevations at Lake Powell and help assure continued compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact, and b) authorize storage of water conserved in the Upper Basin that could help establish the foundation for a Demand Management Program that may be developed in the future.

The Lower Basin DCP is designed to: a) require Arizona, California and Nevada to contribute
additional water to Lake Mead storage at predetermined elevations and, b) create new flexibility to incentivize additional voluntary conservation of water to be stored in Lake Mead.

The Basin States seek to finalize the Upper and Lower Basin DCPs prior to the end of 2018 through the key DCP agreements identified below and federal legislation.

• Companion Agreement
• Upper Basin Drought Response Operations Agreement
• Upper Basin Demand Management Storage Agreement
• Lower Basin DCP Agreement
• Lower Basin Drought Contingency Operations

The draft DCP agreements described above are available for download at the links below or from the State Engineer’s website.

The State Engineer’s Office will be holding a series of public meetings on this topic during the week of October 8, 2018. Additional information can also be found on the State Engineer’s website at seo.state.wyo.us. For those that can’t attend the public meetings, we will also be doing the same presentation via webinar on Monday, October 15 @ 3:00 pm. To participate, please use the following link and call-in information.

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