Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program

The Colorado River and its tributaries provide municipal and industrial water to about 40 million people and irrigation water to 5.5 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 United 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.

Significant salinity control results from the implementation of measures on private agricultural lands. Reclamation's Basin States Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Environmental Quality Incentives Program provide cost share assistance to landowners who install salinity control measures. See chapter 1 and chapter 5 of the Quality of Water Reports in the Related Information tab below.

2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity

The 2023 NOFO No. R23AS00353 was posted on June 2, 2023, on Grants.gov. Reclamation sent letters of intent for the following projects:

Utah

  • Lower Bench Canal Salinity Control Project

Colorado

  • Hartland Ditch Improvement Project
  • North Delta Canal Salinity Control Project
  • Bostwick Park Hairpin Lateral Piping/Salinity Reduction Project
  • Fire Mountain Canal Phase 2 Salinity Project
  • Grand Valley Irrigation Company Phase 6 Lining Project

The appendices to the NOFO have been posted in Grants.gov for you to download and populate, but if you experience errors, they are being made available to you here. However, note that we cannot accept any proposals outside of Grants.gov.

  • Salt Load Reduction Table
  • Salt Load Reduction Worksheet
  • Appendix A - Cost Est. Sheet
  • Budget Pricing Guide
  • Appendix B - On-Farm Enable Rev.
  • Appendix F - Significance Rev.
  • Application 2023 Salinity NOFO
  • July 11, 2023, WebEx NOFO Question and Answer Session.

  • NOFO WebEx
  • Q&A's
  • For questions or need guidance submitting the NOFO, please find the appropriate contact below.

    Contacts

    Reclamation Regional Office Coordinators

    Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Manager:
    Clarence Fullard
    125 South State Street, Room 8100
    Salt Lake City, UT 84138
    303-253-1042
    cfullard@usbr.gov

    Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator:
    Melynda Roberts
    125 South State Street, Room 8100
    Salt Lake City, UT 84138
    801-524-3747
    mroberts@usbr.gov

    Reclamation Technical Contacts and Area Office Coordinators

    Technical Representatives by State

    Western Colorado & Southwest Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona
    Mr. Joshua Dunahm
    Bureau of Reclamation
    445 West Gunnison Ave Suite 221
    Grand Junction CO 81501-5711
    970-248-0613
    jdunham@usbr.gov

    Eastern Utah and Western Wyoming
    Mr. Jay Kalafatis
    Bureau of Reclamation
    302 East 1860 South
    Provo, UT 84606-7317
    801-379-1135
    jkalafatis@usbr.gov

    San Juan River and Dolores River Basins
    Mr. Andrew Limbach (Provides Salt Load Calculations)
    Bureau of Reclamation
    445 West Gunnison Ave Suite 221
    Grand Junction CO 81501-5711
    970-248-0644
    alimbach@usbr.gov

    COLORADO RIVER BASIN SALINITY CONTROL ADVISORY COUNCIL

    Title II of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act (Public Law 93-320) created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program, and Section 204 of the Act created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council. The Council consists of up to three members from each of the seven Colorado River Basin States. Governors of their respective states appoint the Council members. The Council:

    1. Acts as liaison between both the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the States in accomplishing the purposes of the Act;
    2. receives reports from the Secretary on the progress of the salinity control program and review and comment on said reports;
    3. recommends to both the Secretary and the Administrator of the EPA appropriate studies of further projects, techniques, or methods for accomplishing the purposes of the Act; and
    4. provides to the Secretary of the Interior advice and consultation regarding implementation of the Basin States Program to carry out salinity control activities.

    This is accomplished by the Council meeting with the Federal agencies two times a year and providing an Annual Report to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture and the Administrator of the EPA.

    The next Advisory Council meeting will be held in Durango, Colorado on June 5-6.

    Council Annual Reports

    Can be found in our Document Library

    Council Charter

    2022 Charter Link is to a PDF file

    Council Members

    Membership list Link is to a PDF file

    National Environmental Policy Act & Habitat Replacement

    Please review the NEPA Guidance document provided on this webpage for preliminary information regarding NEPA and habitat replacement requirements for salinity projects. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Reclamation for additional information regarding the NEPA process and the habitat replacement component of salinity control projects. Below are the primary points of contact for each Reclamation Area Office.

    Western Colorado Area Office

    NEPA and Habitat Replacement: Jenny Ward
    jward@usbr.gov
    970-248-0651

    Provo Area Office

    (For projects in Utah)

    NEPA: Peter Crookston
    pcrookston@usbr.gov
    801-379-1152

    Habitat Replacement: Tom Davidowicz
    tdavidowicz@usbr.gov
    801-379-1062

    Last Updated: 5/15/24