Water Available for Energy—Upper Colorado River Basin

by Dee C. Hansen, (A.M.ASCE), State Engr.; State of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 341-348

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Upper Colorado River Basin has abundant deposits of fossil fuels and minerals, and numerous projects are in progress, planned or projected, to extract these resources. The first question that needs to be answered to make it possible for these projects to become reality is the availability of water. The Upper Colorado River Basin states are presently depleting 60% of the water apportioned to them under the Colorado River Compact of 1922. Of the 40% remaining it is difficult to specify the exact amount of water available for future development because of the uncertainty of the amount of water to satisfy the Indian water rights and the amount of water that has been committed to various projects by the Upper Colorado River Basin states. A joint effort between Federal, state, and Indian leaders is needed to make water available for energy development and to insure that all Indian water rights are satisfied.

Subject Headings: Water rights | Hydro power | Rivers and streams | Basins | Fuels | Minerals | Uncertainty principles | Federal government | Colorado River

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