About this Report
This report summarizes the results of more than 100 confidential interviews, three workshops, and countless conversations with tribal and other leaders throughout the basin -- all focused on designing a collaborative process to develop the next set of guidelines for the Colorado River. The Colorado River provides water to more than 40 million people in two countries, seven states, and 29 Indian tribes. The demand for water currently exceeds available supply in any given year and is complicated by chronic drought and the uncertainty of impacts from climate change. The river is governed by a set of laws, policies, and institutions collectively referred to as the “Law of the River.” Several key components of this framework, including the 2007 Interim Guidelines, Minute 323, and the 2019 Drought Contigency Plan all expire in 2026, creating a unique opportunity to revise and update the framework for managing the river. Since 2017, the Water & Tribes Initiatives has pursued two complimentary objectives: to enhance tribal capacity to participate in basin-wide policy decisions and to advance sustainable water management in the basin through collaborative decision-making.
Document: Making Sense of the Basin