Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program


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 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 Report below.



COLORADO RIVER BASIN SALINITY CONTROL ADVISORY COUNCIL

Title II of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act (Act) (Public Law 93-320) created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program (Program), and Section 204 of the Act created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council (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 (EPA) 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; and
  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.

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.

Council Meeting Minutes Annual Reports

National Environmental Policy Act & Habitat Replacement



USDA Monitoring & Evaluation Reports for Salinity Projects


Monthly Salinity Data at 20 Key Stations in Colorado River Basin

Last Updated: 11/3/17