The Colorado River Basin faces profound long-term water management challenges. As illustrated by the information contained in the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (released in December 2012), increasing demands for water for a variety of uses may not be sustainable in the long term, especially in light of projected impacts of climate change in the Colorado River Basin.
In cooperation with Carpe Diem West, the Center has engaged in a broad, ongoing dialogue about the issues and policy options for improved Colorado River management and governance. An initial report (Thinking Like a River Basin, released in January 2011) summarized the views of Colorado River basin leaders, highlighting the need for a broader range of stakeholders to engage in discussions about the river’s future. A second report (Governing Like a River Basin, released in December 2011) explored four stakeholder involvement options based on models in other parts of the country. Center Senior Fellow Sarah Bates is currently working on a third report, which will focus on priorities for next steps to implement the “call to action” embedded in the Basin Study.