Colorado River Water Quality

The protection and improvement of water quality in Colorado River water is important to CAP and the communities it serves. CAP works to protect and improve water quality in the Colorado River system through two collaborative efforts:

Lower Colorado River Water Quality Partnership

Through the Lower Colorado River Water Quality Partnership, a joint partnership between CAP, Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, CAP is heavily involved in protecting the water quality of the Colorado River. The main focus of the partnership is to participate in, and have some oversight of, potential activities and projects that could impair the water quality of the Colorado River. Salinity, selenium, nutrients (phosphorus and nitrate), bacteria/pathogens, endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs)/pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), perchlorate, chromium VI, uranium, and invasive species are among some of the identified factors that could affect the river’s water quality in the short and long term.

Colorado River

Colorado River Salinity Control Program

Through its 1,400 mile journey, the Colorado River increases salinity through natural processes and man-made contributions. This increase in salinity can create environmental and economic damages to all Colorado River water users.

In the 1970s, Congress took action to address the levels of salt in the Colorado River. It passed the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act in 1974; Title II of the act created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program, which directs the federal government working with the basin states to implement salinity control programs. The Salinity Control program invests in programs and activities to control salinity, including efforts to reduce the salinity in the Colorado River system.  The program includes federal and state funding. The cooperative program operates through collaboration among all 7 Basin States and includes participation by CAP.

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