System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP)

The System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP)

is an opportunity for temporary, voluntary, and compensated reduction in consumptive use (or depletion) of agricultural, municipal, or industrial water in the Upper Colorado River Basin.

SCPP is administered by the Upper Colorado River Commission in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, and the Colorado River Authority of Utah facilitates SCPP in Utah. SCPP is funded by Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 allocations to the Bureau of Reclamation.

SCPP 2024 focused on projects that:

  1. Enable exploration of Demand Management feasibility and/or
  2. Support innovation and local resiliency in water conservation

Lessons learned from SCPP 2023 that have been applied to the 2024 program, including:

  1. Timing: start processes in fall (early October)
  2. Pricing: provide firm fixed pricing at the outset (partnership with Reclamation)
  3. Conserved Consumptive Use: provide clarity on calculations used for CCU and compensation
  4. Messaging: provide consistent, persistent, and clear outreach to avoid/correct mischaracterization and conflicting information
  5. Transparency: improve clarity regarding purpose, approach, and review processes, provide FAQs and “map” steps

Some important concepts to note about SCPP in 2024:

  1. SCPP is not Demand Management. SCPP for 2024 is a re-authorization and re-initiation of the SCPP of 2015-2018 and 2023. A Demand Management Program is contemplated under the Demand Management Storage Agreement (DMSA) framework, which is part of the Upper Basin Drought Contingency Plans (DCP). Learn more here.
  2. There is no target volume for conservation for SCPP 2024 participation.
  3. Based on “Lessons Learned” from the SCPP in 2023, a new compensation approach will be used in 2024 based on $/ac-ft by project type and by state.

Information Sessions

SCPP 2024 projects are underway and no additional information sessions will be held.  During the application window, there were 12 public opportunities in Utah to learn about the program: 5 in-person information sessions across the Colorado River Basin in Utah (Green River, Price, Vernal, Roosevelt, Duchesne), 5 webinars, a presentation to the Ag Optimization Committee, and a presentation to the Utah Water Task Force.

    Propose A Project

      The Request for Proposals (RFP) for SCPP projects was released on October 27, 2023, and closed on December 18, 2023.


        • Colorado River Authority of Utah SCPP Coordinator:
        • Upper Colorado River Commission:


        2015-2018 SCPP Information