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The Law of the River

The Colorado River is managed and operated under numerous compacts, federal laws, court decisions and decrees, contracts, and regulatory guidelines collectively known as the "Law of the River." This collection of documents apportions the water and regulates the use and management of the Colorado River among the seven basin states and Mexico. Following is a synopsis of the most significant documents (you can click on the highlighted titles to get the full text of these regulations in Adobe Acrobat pdf file formats): There are several other laws, contracts and document which are part of the "Law of the River" in addition to these provisions, the federal Endangered Species Act and various Native American water claim settlements both affect the extent to which water developments and diversions can be utilized in the Colorado River Basin.

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Updated: March 2008