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History of the Region

The Lower Colorado (LC) Region is one of five Bureau of Reclamation Regions in 17 western states working to implement Reclamation’s mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

Reclamation 17 State Map with Lower Colorado Region Highlighted

The LC Region encompasses southern Nevada, southern California, most of Arizona, a small corner of southwest Utah and a small section of west-central New Mexico. Reclamation has been involved in water management programs in some of these states since the early 1900s.

The Region’s headquarters is located in Boulder City, Nevada, with Area Offices in Phoenix and Yuma Area Office, Arizona; Temecula, California; and at Hoover Dam.

The Region’s programs and projects cover over 202,000 square miles of the West with a focus on the lower 688 river miles of the Colorado River system from Lee’s Ferry in northern Arizona to the border with the Republic of Mexico.

Illustration of the Colorado River

In a typical year, Reclamation facilities in the LC Region deliver 7.5 million acre-feet (maf) of water to Arizona, California, and Nevada, and 1.5 maf to Mexico. The water helps irrigate over 2.5 million acres of land and meet the domestic needs of more than 23 million people. Hydroelectric powerplants at Hoover, Davis and Parker Dams annually generate five to six billion kilowatt-hours of clean, hydroelectric power distributed to contractors in Arizona, Nevada and California.

The LC Region observes the rights and obligations established under the existing compilation of laws, compacts, agreements, legal settlements and Treaty minutes which all comprise what’s known as the "Law of the River". The LCR seeks creative ways to meet the changing and contemporary needs of the Colorado River basin. To accomplish this, we:

  • Effectively carry out the Secretary of the Interior's role as Watermaster of the lower Colorado River, in collaboration with the Colorado River Basin states, American Indian Tribes, the Republic of Mexico and the many communities, businesses and large agricultural interests in the Region.
  • Continue the annual delivery of 9 million acre-feet of water and production of up to 6 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric energy from lower Colorado River dams and associated powerplants. This includes fulfilling the requirements of the 1944 Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Mexico for 1.5 million acre-feet of water with established salinity levels to benefit the Mexican people and environment.
  • Develop and analyze adaptation and mitigation strategies to resolve water supply and demand imbalances in the Colorado River Basin.
  • Implement the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Plan to achieve long-term Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance for river operation and management by creating habitat and augmenting endangered fish species.
  • Meet our Indian Trust responsibilities under various laws and compacts to help ensure safe and consistent supplies of water to American Indian Communities within the Region.

For more information on these programs and projects, visit http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g1000/benefit.html

Webmaster: sha-lcr-webcomments@usbr.gov

 

Last Updated: 3/19/15