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The Colorado River and its tributaries provide municipal and industrial water to about 27 million people and irrigation water to nearly four million acres of land in the United States. The river also serves about 2.3 million people and 500,000 acres in Mexico. The threat of salinity is a major concern in both the Unites States and Mexico. Salinity affects agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users.

In June 1974, Congress enacted the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, Public Law 93-320, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to proceed with a program to enhance and protect the quality of water available in the Colorado River for use in the United States and Republic of Mexico. In October 1984, Congress amended the original act by passing Public Law 98-569.

Public Law 104-20 of July 28, 1995, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to implement a basinwide salinity control program. The Secretary may carry out the purposes of this legislation directly, or make grants, enter into contracts, memoranda of agreement, commitments for grants, cooperative agreements, or advances of funds to non-federal entities under such terms and conditions as the Secretary may require.

The Huntington-Cleveland Salinity Control Project under construction near the communities of Huntington, Cleveland and Elmo in central Utah, represents a significant component of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Significant salinity control results from the implementation of measures on private agricultural lands. The Bureau of Reclamation's Basin States Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provide cost share assistance to landowners who install salinity control measures. See Chapter 1 and Chapter 5 of the Quality of Water Report below.


Salinity Program Advisory Council



 

Last updated: September 4, 2014