Denver Water’s Jim Lochhead on the current Colorado River mess

In his April 16 letter to the Central Arizona Project’s management team, Denver Water’s Jim Lochhead, one of the leaders of the Colorado River water management community for more than two decades, was very explicit in the use of the word “manipulation” to describe what he believes the CAP is doing with its Lake Mead orders.

Lochhead gave a very helpful interview to KNPR in Las Vegas this week suggesting the urgency of the issue – that he believes Arizona’s actions, by pulling water off of the river while at the same time blocking the collaborative solutions needed to deal with shortage on the river, pose a serious threat. Listening to the full 15-minute interview is time well spent if you want to understand what’s going on.

And if you have a few more minutes to spare, Lochhead’s 2003 Denver Water Law Review article is the definitive piece on the evolution of the cooperative norms in Colorado River governance. I relied on it heavily for my book. (I think that link isn’t paywalled, sorry, I can’t tell whether it’s really open access or I have university library privilege cookies.)

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