Bureau of Reclamation Publishes Notice of Intent Regarding Post-2026 Colorado River Reservoir Operations
On June 16th the Bureau of Reclamation published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development of post-2026 Colorado River reservoir operations. This NOI formally initiates the post-2026 process under the National Environmental Policy Act by starting the scoping period and seeks public comment that will be considered as Reclamation develops the proposed federal action, purpose and need, and the scope of the analysis for post-2026 operations.
Several important reservoir and water management decisional documents and agreements that govern the operation of Colorado River facilities and management of Colorado River water are currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2026. These include the 2007 Interim Guidelines, the 2019 Upper and Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plans (DCPs), and several agreements with Mexico under Minute 323 of the 1944 Water Treaty with Mexico.
The NOI requests comments concerning the scope of specific operational guidelines, strategies, and any other issues that should be considered in the development of post-2026 operations and specifically requests input on how the purpose and elements of the 2007 Interim Guidelines should be retained, modified, or eliminated to provide greater stability to water users and the public through more robust and adaptive operational guidelines. Reclamation anticipates publishing a “scoping report” summarizing the formal input received soon after the close of the comment period on August 15, 2023.
Reclamation invites all Colorado River Basin partners, stakeholders, and interested members of the public to provide oral and written comments.
Reclamation will host three virtual public meetings to provide summary information and receive oral comments:
- Monday, July 17, 2023, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (MDT)?
- Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (MDT)?
- Monday, July 24, 2023, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (MDT)?
Each virtual public meeting will cover the same material. Meeting interpretation will be available in Spanish.
To register for a virtual public meeting, please visit the project website: https://www.usbr.gov/ColoradoRiverBasin/post2026/index.html.
For additional information on the project background, please refer to the Federal Register notice and the project website at: https://www.usbr.gov/ColoradoRiverBasin/post2026/index.html.
Submit Comments on or Before August 15, 2023
Reclamation requests that the comments are submitted on or before August 15, 2023.
Comments can be submitted via the following:
Email to: email@example.com
Telephone: (602) 789-3889
Verbally at the virtual public meetings
Bureau of Reclamation
Attn: Post-2026 (Mail Stop 84-55000)
P.O. Box 25007
Denver, CO 80225
For further information, please contact Amanda Erath, Colorado River Post-2026 Program Coordinator, Bureau of Reclamation, at (303) 445-2766 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.