Water Conservation Opportunities and Challenges in the Colorado Basin

Michael Levy

Abstract: Colorado River water is a critical resource for cities and agriculture in the Southwest United States. However, demand for Colorado River water exceeds supply, and that gap will worsen over coming decades. Basin states and water managers have an opportunity now to craft responses that minimize environmental damage and economic suffering. However, doing so will require navigating turbulent political waters and integrating knowledge from many academic disciplines. The goal of this paper is to present an assessment of opportunities for conservation in the basin along with challenges likely to be encountered in pursuing those opportunities.