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Lessons Learned from Colorado Experiences with Interstate Compact Administration 

As water users who depend on the Colorado River grapple with how to forestall or prepare for the possibility of curtailment under the Colorado River Compact, it’s worth remembering that this is not an entirely new dilemma for our state. The Rio Grande, Republican and Arkansas Basins have all experienced compact administration. While the hydrology and legal details are unique to each basin, these experiences have common threads that may be instructive to the Colorado Basin community.

For this project, Kelsea MacIlroy of MacIlroy Research & Consulting, LLC and Hannah Holm of the Hutchins Water Center at CMU collaborated to collect stories from people who have lived through the experience of compact administration and distill hard-won lessons learned. Kelsea conducted the interviews and did the analysis; Hannah helped summarize background information, structure and write the report. 

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