Environmental Compliance

The Arizona Department of Water Resources actively participates in programs such as the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, and the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum.

Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) was established in 1997 under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior,  and in compliance with the Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992.  GCDAMP is administered through the Secretary's designee and facilitated through the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG), which is organized as a Federal Advisory Committee and chaired by the designee. The Technical Work Group provides detailed guidance on issues and objectives; the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center conducts research and monitoring needed to evaluate operations and an independent review panel provides the necessary outside review to provide the credible science. The Department represents the State of Arizona at the AMWG.

The AMWG continues to provide a venue for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and downstream resources. By blending the best science and management practices, the AMWG makes recommendations to the Secretary on how to protect the resources and meet the requirement of the law.

The present guidance of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program includes:

For more technical information, see the GCDAMP Wiki page

Lower Colorado river multi-species conservation program

The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, or LCR MSCP, is a cooperative effort to address the needs of threatened and endangered species that may be affected by the operation and maintenance of the river from Lake Mead downstream to the Southern International Border.  The program has three goals:

To accomplish these goals a Program Steering Committee (which includes federal agencies; water, power, and wildlife agencies from Arizona, California, and Nevada; irrigation districts and municipalities; power providers; conservation groups; and other affected interests) developed a 50-year Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).  Official documents for the program were signed on April 4, 2005, during a ceremony at Hoover Dam.  The HCP includes the creation of approximately 8,000 acres of new habitat, augmentation of fish populations, research and adaptive management.

  • To conserve habitat and work toward the recovery of threatened and endangered species within the Lower Colorado River Basin, as well as reduce the likelihood of additional species listing under the Endangered Species Act
  • To accommodate current water diversions and power production and optimize opportunities for future water and power development consistent with the law
  • To provide a basis for incidental take permits under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program (Program) is a cooperative, basin-wide effort between several federal agencies and the seven Basin states designated to meet national, international and state water quality objectives. Impacts of increased salinity levels in the Colorado River have long been of concern in both the United States and Mexico, resulting in economic damages to agricultural, municipal and industrial water users. Agricultural users suffer reduced crop yields and incur higher labor costs for irrigation management, chemical treatment, and increased drainage requirements. Urban users often see a reduced serviceable lifespan of their plumbing and water-using appliances. Similarly, industrial water users and water treatment facilities experience reductions in the useful life of system facilities and equipment. Economic damages in the United States are estimated at millions of dollars per year, and those damages in Mexico, although unquantified, remain a significant concern.

Through its Salinity Control Forum, the Program developed salinity standards throughout the Lower Basin as well as a basin-wide plan of implementation. Approved by the EPA and adopted by the Colorado River basin states, these standards establish a flow-weighted average annual salinity threshold that must be maintained on the lower Colorado River at three locations: Below Hoover Dam (to Parker Dam); below Parker Dam (to Imperial Dam); and at Imperial Dam. Implementation of the salinity control plan has ensured compliance with these standards, while the Basin states continue to develop their respective Colorado River Compact water allocations. For more information regarding salinity control, visit the United States Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum websites.