The Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) was authorized by Congress with the passage of the CRSP Act of 1956. The CRSP Act authorized construction of the initial units (Curecanti [later renamed the Aspinall Unit], Flaming Gorge, Navajo, and Glen Canyon) and participating projects. Colorado River operations, including CRSP operations, are governed by a complex set of authorities referred to as the “Law of the River.”
Annual Operating Plan
Each year the Secretary of the Interior prepares an annual operating plan describing among other things, the projected operations for Colorado River reservoirs for the upcoming year.
The 24-Month Study is the operational study that uses forecasted inflows and expected operations to project future Colorado River reservoir volumes and releases for the next 24-month period. Reclamation updates the projections each month using the previous month’s reservoir volumes and the latest inflow forecasts and water use forecasts. The updated results of the 24-Month Study model run are published in the 24-Month Study report which is issued monthly.
Forums for Information Exchange
Working groups for the Aspinall Unit, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Fontenelle Reservoir, and Navajo Reservoir meet two to three times annually to discuss past, current, and proposed reservoir operations. These meetings, led by either the Provo Area Office or the Western Colorado Area Office, are open to the public and participants are encouraged to comment. Operational decisions are not made during the working group meetings; rather the meetings provide a forum for information exchange. At these meetings, stakeholders can also share information about specific resources of interest and the relationship between reservoir operations and these resources. The working groups provide input to Reclamation as well as educate various constituencies on operations of the reservoirs.
The 1996 Record of Decision for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam created the Adaptive Management Program (AMP). The AMP provides an organization and process to facilitate the use of scientific information in decision making for Glen Canyon Dam operations. The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (linked to AMWG page on UC web site) is a federal Advisory Committee which provides, among other things, advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior regarding operation of Glen Canyon Dam. Adaptive Management Work Group meetings are open to the public.
The Water Resources Group, Upper Colorado Region, then projects water release schedules for all CRSP facilities and coordinates with the Western Area Power Administration.
The current status of each CRSP reservoir provides information about current reservoir conditions and operations as well as basin hydrology and water supply forecasts.