Six Colorado River Basin States to Interior: Don’t Allow Utah to Blow up Basin Collaboration

The six Colorado River Basin states that do not have the letters “U-T-A-H” in their names just sent a remarkable letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt with a plea – don’t let the rush toward federal approval of Utah’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline blow up the Colorado River Basin’s framework of collaborative rather than confrontational problem solving:


The six-state letter, the product of intense discussions in recent weeks among the states (including the one with “U-T-A-H” in its name) takes great pains to point to an important historical norm in Colorado Basin governance – states don’t mess in other states’ internal water use decisions. But in asking to move Upper Basin water to a Lower Basin community, Utah has crossed a line that the other states simply couldn’t let pass.

The full letter is worth a read.


  1. John, an interesting take. I read the letter as the States not opposing the project, but instead asking Reclamation to let them negotiate a deal privately amongst themselves, rather than through a public NEPA process with others looking on.

  2. Greed begets insanity.

    The allocations to the states should be reset right away. Maybe U-T-A-H would not have the water to move.

    There should be a commitment to keep more water in the reservoirs. Maybe raise to 75%. Do it now. First priority.

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