Voluntary program to save water for Colorado River reauthorized for 2024

SALT LAKE CITY (November 7, 2023)  — Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, through the Upper Colorado River Commission, have extended a program to pay farmers and other water users in the four states to conserve water without losing their water rights or livelihoods. 

Why it matters

The System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) conserves water in the Colorado River System through temporary, voluntary, and compensated water conservation activities. The federally-funded program is open to agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users. 

How it will work

  • Participation in the SCPP is voluntary and compensation is calculated by the amount of consumptive water use savings compared to previous years’ use. 

  • Water users who are interested in participating will temporarily reduce consumption of historically beneficially used water through a contract with the Upper Colorado River Commission. 

  • The federally-funded program is administered by the Upper Colorado River Commission. The Colorado River Authority of Utah will work with the Upper Colorado River Commission and applicants in Utah throughout the submittal, review, and approval process.

  • In 2024, participants will be compensated using firm, fixed pricing based on project type.

Year-one success

In its first year, 64 projects were approved across the four states, 20 of which were in Utah. Participants included agricultural, municipal and industrial projects in the Beehive state conserving 15,090 acre feet of water. 

Take action

Applications to participate in SCPP are due December 18. The SCPP application form is available here

The Authority will host a combination of virtual and in-person information sessions as follows: 

  • Green River City Hall

    • Monday, November 6

    • 6:00 p.m.

  • Price USU Eastern Alumni Room

    • Tuesday, November 7 

    • 6:00 p.m.

  • Vernal Regional DNR Office

    • Wednesday, November 8

    • 6:00 p.m.

  • UCRC Webinar

    • Thursday, November 9

    • 1:00 p.m.

  • Roosevelt USU Uintah

    • Thursday, November 9

    • 4:00 p.m.

  • Duchesne Central Utah Water Conservancy District Office

    • Thursday, November 9

    • 6:00 p.m.

  • Utah Webinar

    • Friday, December 1

    • 12:00 p.m.

  • UCRC Webinar

    • Thursday, December 7

    • 11:00 a.m.

For more information on the SCPP and how to participate, visit cra.utah.gov/system-conservation-pilot-program or contact Lily Bosworth at lbosworth@utah.gov or 801-824-9037.

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Media Contact:

Marty Carpenter

801.971.3601

mcarpenter@northboundstrategy.com