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Part Four: Preparing Comments for Public Participation During the Reconsultation of Interim Guidelines

July 13, 2021
by John S. Weisheit

Beach in Cataract Canyon near Rapid #26
Beach in Cataract Canyon near Rapid #26

This Section is Part Four

  • Click here for Part One A: By date - News and Opinion
  • Click here for Part One B: By subject - News and Opinion
  • Click here for Part Two: Narratives - Old and New.
  • Click here for Part Three: The Physical and Social Sciences
  • Click here for Part Four: Solutions - Climate Adaptation, Sustainibility and Resilence.


PART FOUR: Solutions, Climate Adaptation, Sustainibility and Resilence

Community in the Colorado River BasinRobison, McKinney & Vigil; 2021: Idaho Law Review.

Whereas water is life; it is a precious, life-giving resource;

Whereas water is sacred; it is valued for spiritual, cultural, and ecological purposes as well as for sustaining human populations and economies;

Whereas water is foundational to the identities of tribes in the Basin and provides an intrinsic connection to their wellbeing and homelands;

Whereas water in the Colorado River system is essential to urban and rural communities; municipal, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other uses; and to more than 40 million people in two countries, seven states, and [30] sovereign Indian nations, and;

Whereas natural and cultural resource conservation are connected. Now, therefore, be it resolved that the next framework to govern the Colorado River system should:

  • Promote and support the sustainable, resilient use of the River system for people and the rest of nature;
  • Ensure the spiritual, cultural, and ecological integrity of the River system while providing water for human use and consumption;
  • Equitably allocate water by considering the contemporary diversity of needs, interests, and priorities; historical use patterns; and the realities of drought and climate change;
  • Promote and support reliable access to clean water for all residents of the Colorado River system;
  • Leave the earth and its water systems better than we found them;
  • Honor, respect, and realize the federal government’s trust responsibility toward the Basin’s tribes in a manner that acknowledges their sovereignty and human right to self-determination;
  • Engage in collaboration as the action of first resort to develop policy and solve problems, and;
  • Integrate traditional indigenous knowledge with western science to better understand the River system and the consequences of alternative management scenarios.


There is a day of reckoning—whichever comes first.
  • A Great Aridness: empty reservoirs in time-scales of decades, as will likely occur between now and 2060.
  • Exceedance of spillway capacities: Five-month snowmelts greater than 30 million acre-feet, as in 1884, and 50 million as in 1862.
  • The intentional storage of sediment in reservoirs: total sediment storage capacities greater than 50% will significantly impact the prime objectives of federal legislation, which are: navigation, water storage/regulation and flood control. This impact is happening now at small reservoirs, and will happen in the 22nd century for the larger reservoirs.
"Reclamation ... is a technological stunt that, as the experience of other irrigation societies shows, cannot be indefinitely sustained. As the irrigation system approaches maximum efficiency, as rivers get moved around with more and more thorough, consummate skill, the system begins to grow increasingly vulnerable, subject to a thousand ills that eventually bring about its decline. Despite all efforts to save the system, it breaks down here, then there, then everywhere." Professor Donald E. Worster











Tribal Resources. OTC.

2012 - Basin Study Tribal Comments

2018 - Tribal Water Study of the Ten-Tribe Partnership (documents combined and starting with the press release). This study is a new feature for the 2012 Basin Study.

2020 - 7D Review Tribal Comments:

2021 - Conference: Tribal Water Resilience in a Changing Environment. University of Arizona.




Repurposing federal and state legislation VISIONARY STRATEGIES
Ten Strategies for Climate Resilience on the Colorado River Basin _______________________________________


This page is Part Four (solutions, climate adaptation, sustainibility and resilence)

  • Click here for Part One A: By date - News and Opinion
  • Click here for Part One B: By subject - News and Opinion
  • Click here for Part Two: Narratives - Old and New.
  • Click here for Part Three: The Physical and Social Sciences
  • Click here for Part Four: Solutions - Climate Adaptation, Sustainibility and Resilence

Discussion:   Talk about this article...


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