Stakeholders and decision makers have historically played a decisive role in the protection of water quality and the environment in the Colorado River Basin. Several important projects are aimed at the protection of more than 20 endangered species; such as the implementation of the 50 year Multi Species Conservation Program (MSCP) to protect endangered species in the Lower Basin. In the Upper Basin, there are several ongoing projects: The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and the San Juan Basin Recovery Implementation Program. Both programs were instrumented to protect several endangered native fish species in the Upper Basin and the San Juan Basin respectively. The Glenn Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program focuses on long term research and monitoring of downstream resources and is used for recommendations of dam operations and management actions. The Salinity Control Forum, an organization of the 7 Basin's states, coordinates and promotes efforts to reduce salt loading into the Colorado River.
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.
Multi-Species Conservation Program (MSCP)
MSCP is a comprehensive program for the protection of 26 covered species and their habitat in the Lower Colorado River Basin, including six federally listed endangered and threatened species. The program also aims at reducing the likelihood that additional species will be listed as threatened or endangered during the duration of the program. The program extends for 50 years (through 2055) at a combined total estimated cost of $626 million (in 2003 dollars). Arizona bears 12.5% (about $1.53 million annually in 2003 dollars) of the program costs. There are 28 contributing entities in Arizona, including CAP. Habitat development is proceeding at or ahead of schedule. Fish stocking is on track, although facility issues and invasive species (quagga mussel) have impacted the expansion of the Bonytail Chub population.