Published: July 25, 2023

Crisis on the Colorado River: From Short-Term Solutions to Long-Term Sustainability

Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9, 2023
Hosted by the Getches-Wilkinson Center and Water & Tribes Initiative

The Colorado River is in crisis. Rapid declines in reservoir storage now threaten many longstanding agreements and operational norms, triggering curtailments in water deliveries and prompting emergency interstate and federal/interstate negotiations.

The challenge is two-fold: adopting rules to equitably “share the pain” in the short-term, while transitioning to a management framework to support long-term sustainability in what will likely be an increasingly arid future. It is both a water and a “people” problem, requiring innovations for stretching limited supplies through processes emphasizing equity and inclusion across all values, stakeholders, and sovereigns, including the United States, Mexico, Tribes, and the seven basin states.

Thursday, June 8

Part 1

  • 00:00 Welcome and Introduction
  • 19:13 Understanding the Challenges (and Opportunities)
  • 2:00:40 Current Negotiations and the NEPA Process
  • 2:39 Charles Wilkinson Tribute

Part 2

  • 00:00 The Evolving Role of Tribes
  • 2:30:52 Insights from the Basin States

Friday, June 9

Part 1

  • 00:46 Thinking About a Sustainable Future
  • 2:01:13 Some Specific Questions to Answer

Part 2

  • 00:00 Some Specific Questions to Answer (Continued)
  • 2:30:26 Themes, Lessons and Concerns: Can We Turn Crisis into Opportunity?

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