COLORADO RIVER COMPACT
SIGNED AT SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO,
November 24, 1922
The States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, having resolved to enter into a compact under the act of the Congress of the United States of America approved August 19, 1921, (42 Stat. L., p. 171), and the acts of the legislatures of the said States, have through their governors appointed as their commissioners: W. S. Norviel for the State of Arizona, W. F. McClure for the State of California, Delph E. Carpenter for the State of Colorado, J. G. Scrugham for the State of Nevada, Stephen B. Davis, Jr. for the State of New Mexico R. E. Caldwell for the State of Utah, Frank C. Emerson for the State of Wyoming, who, after negotiations participated in by Herbert Hoover, appointed by the President as the representative of the United States of America, have agreed upon the following articles.
The major purposes of this compact are to provide for the equitable division and apportionment of the use of the waters of the Colorado River system; to establish the relative importance of different beneficial uses of water; to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of present and future controversies and to secure the expeditious agricultural and industrial development of the Colorado River Basin, the storage of its waters, and the protection of life and property from floods. To these ends the Colorado River Basin is divided into two basins, and an apportionment of the use of part of the water of the Colorado River system is made to each of them with the provision that further equitable apportionment may be made.
As used in this compact:
The chief official of each signatory State charged with the administration of water rights, together with the Director of the United States Reclamation Service and the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall cooperate, ex officio.
Should any claim or controversy arise between any two or more of the signatory States: (a) With respect to the waters of the Colorado River system not covered by the terms of this compact; (b) over the meaning or performance of any of the terms of this compact; (c) as to the allocation of the burdens incident to the performance of any article of this compact or the delivery of waters as herein provided; (d) as to the construction or operation of works within the Colorado River Basin to be situated in two or more States, or to be constructed in one State for the benefit of another State; or (e) as to the diversion of water in one State for the benefit of another State, the governors of the States affected upon the request of one of them, shall forthwith appoint commissioners with power to consider and adjust such claim or controversy, subject to ratification by the legislatures of the States so affected.
Nothing in this compact shall be construed as affecting the obligations of the United States of America to Indian tribes.
Present perfected rights to the beneficial use of waters of the Colorado River system are unimpaired by this compact. Whenever storage capacity of 5,000,000 acre-feet shall have been provided on the Main Colorado River within or for the benefit of the lower basin, then claims of such rights, if any, by appropriators or users of water in the lower basin against appropriators or users of water in the upper basin shall attach to and be satisfied from water that may be stored not in conflict with Article III.
All other rights to beneficial use of waters of the Colorado River system shall be satisfied solely from the water apportioned to that basin in which they are situated.
Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit or prevent any State from instituting or maintaining any action or proceeding, legal or equitable, for the protection of any right under this compact or the enforcement of any of its provisions.
This compact may be terminated at any time by the unanimous agreement of the signatory States. In the event of such termination, all rights established under it shall continue unimpaired.
This compact shall become binding and obligatory when it shall have been approved by the legislatures of each of the signatory States and by the Congress of the United States. Notice of approval by the legislatures shall be given by the governor of each signatory State to the governors of the other signatory States and to the President of the United States, and the President of the United States is requested to give notice to the governors of the signatory States of approval by the Congress of the United States.
In witness whereof the commissioners have signed this compact in a single original, which shall be deposited in the archives of the Department of State of the United States of America and of which a duly certified copy shall be forwarded to the governor of each of the signatory States.
Done at the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this twenty-fourth day of November, A. D. one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
W. S. Norviel
W. F. McClure
Delph E. Carpenter
J. G. Scrugham
Stephen B. Davis, Jr.
R. E. Caldwell
Frank C. Emerson
Approved: Herbert Hoover