Colorado River Basin Research-to-Operations (CRB R2O) Program

Reclamation’s Upper and Lower Colorado Regions launched a multi-faceted research and development program in the Colorado River Basin in 2004. The program was initially focused on research to understand and incorporate hydrologic uncertainty in planning studies, but the scope has evolved over time. The Colorado River Basin Research-to-Operations (CRB R2O) Program currently engages a variety of scientists and government agencies to collaborate on projects that advance Reclamation’s use of climate information, hydrology, modeling, and decision science.

The CRB R2O Program maintains and expands upon a research portfolio that addresses short-, mid-, and long-term planning. Short-term projects are those that are relevant to 24-Month Study (24-MS) modeling activities (0- to 2-year time horizon); mid-term refers to projects that inform Mid Term probabilistic Operations Model (MTOM) activities (2- to 5-year time horizon); and long-term research informs studies performed with the Colorado River Simulation System (CRSS) model (beyond 5 years).

The 2008-2016 Research page summarizes and provides links to products from all studies funded by Reclamation that were completed by 2016. The Recently Completed CRB R2O Research (post-2016) page summarizes projects that are actively being built upon by ongoing or planned studies. Ongoing CRB R2O Research describes projects that have received funding and begun work. Links to all peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from any studies will direct to the Publication Abstracts page.

In Fall 2018 Reclamation coordinated with a diverse group of stakeholder agencies to commission the Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology State of the Science Report. The Report synthesizes the large volume of climate and hydrology research that has occurred in the Basin since Appendix U of the 2007 Interim Guidelines EIS was published and connects the dots between data, methods, models, and projections of future conditions. It will provide an invaluable foundation for future research, planning, and management in the Basin. Visit the Western Water Assessment website to access the Report and an extensive set of supporting materials including executive summary, individual chapters, webinars, and contact info.