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.
- Funding Opportunity Announcements
- Salinity Control Advisory Council
- National Environmental Policy Act & Habitat Replacement
- Related Information
2019 Funding Opportunity Announcement BOR-UC-20-F001
The 2019 FOA closed on September 20, 2019. The next FOA is expected in 2022. For reference the 2019 FOA can be accessed at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=316619 . For questions about preparing for and submitting in the next FOA, please contact the following appropriate Contact.
Reclamation Regional Office Coordinators
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Manager:
Mr. Kib Jacobson
125 South State Street, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, UT 84138
Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator:
Ms. Marcie Bainson
125 South State Street, Room 8100
Salt Lake City, UT 84138
Reclamation Technical Contacts and Area Office Coordinators
Colorado River Basin in Colorado and New Mexico Including San Juan River and Dolores River Basins:
Mr. Andrew Limbach
Western Colorado Area Office
445 W. Gunnison Avenue, Ste 221
Grand Junction, CO 81506
Colorado River Basin in Utah and Wyoming:
Mr. Jay Kalafatis
Provo Area Office
302 East Lakeview Parkway
Provo, UT 84606-7317
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:
- 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;
- receives reports from the Secretary on the progress of the salinity control program and review and comment on said reports;
- 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
- 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.
- Final Agenda - Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council Virtual Meeting, October 28-29, 2020 Link is to a PDF file
Council Meeting Minutes
- May 2018 Meeting Minutes Link is to a PDF file
- October 2017 Meeting Mintues Link is to a PDF file
- No meeting held in the spring of 2017
Council Annual Reports
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.
- National Environmental Policy Act – Guidance for Preparing Salinity Control Program Projects Link is to a PDF file
- Salinity Control Program: Fish and Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Procedures Link is to a PDF file – 16 April 2018
- Salinity Control Projects, Environmental Compliance and Habitat Replacement presentation Link is to a PDF file
Western Colorado Area Office(For projects in western Colorado)
NEPA: Jenny Ward
Habitat Replacement: Amanda Ewing
NEPA and Habitat Replacement: Eric Creeden
- Paradox Valley Unit Environmental Impact Statement
- Natural Resources Conservation Service – Colorado River Salinity Control Monitoring Reports
- Colorado River Basin Natural Flow and Salt Data
- 2017 Quality of Water - Colorado River Basin Progress Report 25 Link is to a PDF file
- 2013 Quality of Water - Colorado River Basin Progress Report 24 Link is to a PDF file
- 2011 Quality of Water - Colorado River Basin Progress Report 23 Link is to a PDF file
- Water Quality Standards For Salinity – Colorado River System (Triennial Reports)