Colorado River municipal water utilities respond to first interim report of Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study

June 06, 2011

The Colorado River Municipal Utilities, consisting of Aurora Water, the Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Los Angeles Department of…

The Colorado River Municipal Utilities, consisting of Aurora Water, the Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the city of Phoenix, the San Diego County Water Authority, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Western Urban Water Coalition, jointly have issued the following statement in response to the release of Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study Interim Report No. 1 by the Bureau of Reclamation and agencies representing the Basin states:

“Municipal water utilities which rely on Colorado River water recognize the need for continued wise management of the river’s limited water resources.  This study is a critical step toward understanding potential imbalances in Colorado River supply and demand and toward identifying potential opportunities to address the Basin’s long-term water needs.  We will carefully review this first interim report and provide constructive feedback to help maximize the accuracy and value of the final study. 

The stakes for effectively managing Colorado River water supplies are enormous for the Southwest and the nation.  While only about 15 percent of Colorado River withdrawals are for municipal purposes, the Basin’s urban water utilities use that water to help meet basic human needs for more than 30 million people and support hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity annually.  In addition, the Colorado River is a major source of water for agriculture, irrigating nearly 4 million acres of land.  The river is also a major source of hydroelectric power, and it is vital for supporting at least 15 Native American tribes and 22 National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, or National Recreation Areas.

While there is no “silver bullet” for managing future supply challenges, there are opportunities for urban, agricultural, and other water users in the Basin to collaborate on a balanced, sensible approach for managing future Colorado River supplies and managing potential future shortages while avoiding significant economic and quality of life impacts to the region.  These approaches must consider urban, agricultural and environmental needs that rely on the Colorado River system.  We hope this report evaluates a suite of options for addressing our common supply challenges and quantifies the economic considerations of each potential solution.

Our agencies realize we need to be innovative and collaborative in order to use the river’s supplies as wisely as we can.  Over the last 20 years we have made large investments and achieved significant progress in improving water use efficiency, recycling, developing local alternative supplies to manage our communities’ demands for Colorado River supplies and augmenting the existing Colorado River supplies.   We are dedicated to fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships which address regional long-term supply planning and management issues. 

Ultimately, we must all work together to protect and share this precious resource.  We are looking to collaborate with other stakeholders in the Basin on solutions to our collective challenges.”

The interim report can be found at

Media Contacts:

Greg Baker

Aurora Water

(303) 739-7081 office

720-278-1299 mobile

Crystal Thompson

Central Arizona Project

(623) 869-2138

Stacy Chesney

Denver Water

(303) 628-6584 office

(720) 232-7214 mobile

Joe Ramallo

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

(213) 367-1361

Bob Muir

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

(213) 217-6930 office

(213) 324-5213 mobile

Ken Kroski

City of Phoenix

Water Services Department


Jason Foster

San Diego County Water Authority

(858) 522-6701 office

(858) 761-5950 mobile

J.C. Davis

Southern Nevada Water Authority

(702) 258-7117

Guy Martin

Western Urban Water Coalition

(202) 654-6363


  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

    Media Contact Information

    Grace Sevilla

    Phone: (619) 855-5135