The Colorado River Research Group (CRRG) was formed in 2014 to bring scientific insights to Colorado River system management, inspired in part by the salient role played by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists in the Murray-Darling Basin—a similar, drought-stricken region in Australia. Originally, the CRRG was launched with ten members, all academics with long, well-established involvement in Colorado River scholarship. In 2021 the group was expanded to 14 active members, while four original CRRG members transitioned to emeritus status.
The CRRG was established as an independent, knowledgeable voice insulated from political constraints, sectoral alliances, and other pressures that might impede the full consideration of relevant ideas and viewpoints. Certain ground rules were set from the beginning. The CRRG would be self-governed by unanimous consent. All decisions and products, including CRRG policy briefs, would be group efforts benefiting from the entire body's knowledge and sensibilities. Likewise, CRRG members would serve as individuals, rather than as representatives of their universities or other organizations. These tenets remain, as does the group's commitment to bringing rigorous and timely research to ongoing policy dialogue.