Colorado River Policy

Colorado River Basin Water Policy

As the collective business voice for water stewardship, our diverse network ranges from Fortune 500 companies to main-street retailers, all in support of practical solutions to water challenges. Our goal is balanced water policies at the local, state and federal level that allow the Colorado River system, and others like it, to simultaneously support and sustain the needs of business, the environment, recreation and the overall quality of life in the region.

As water leaders discuss drastic measures to address the ongoing drought in the West we anticipate growing scrutiny on water use and water policy, and the corporate voice and influence will be key to help the region do more with less. 

State and Federal Work
Water lies at the core of Arizona’s economy, lifestyle, and identity. Clean, reliable water supplies are critical for Arizona communities and our economy. Companies from all regions and sectors of Arizona’s economy play an active role in advocating in support of policy to secure Arizona’s water future. We bring the business voice to issues of groundwater security, drought contingency planning, policy on conservation and efficiency and funding river health initiatives.

Colorado- Colorado’s economy, lifestyle, and identity is tied to access to clean, reliable water supplies and healthy, thriving rivers. Colorado communities and our economy depend on the state’s rivers and waterways for their well being and economic vitality. A growing population and changing climate are stressing the water sources we all depend on and businesses play a vital role in shaping our water future.

Federal- At the federal level we work on advocating for federal water infrastructure funding to help the Southwest deal with the effects of continued aridification and water shortages; tribal water rights and access to funding; and we work to promote programs like WaterSMART, system conservation, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and water funding in the Farm Bill to ensure water efficiency and conservation programs across the west remain funded.


“Our growth can only be sustained so long as we have a water supply that can support it.” Danny Seiden, CEO of Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“For businesses in the outdoor recreation industry, our streams, rivers and mountains are our infrastructure. Colorado is a hub for the industry because the state values public lands. If you want to operate in Colorado, you have an obligation to protect public lands and uphold these values.” David Dragoo- Mayfly Outdoors

What's at Stake

The Colorado River is vital to the economies of the seven-state region through which it flows. An Arizona State University study documents that the Colorado River supports $1.4 trillion in economic output, $871 billion in wages and 16 million jobs annually. The river supplies drinking water to 40 million Americans and irrigates 5.7 million acres of rich farm and ranch lands. This economic engine is at risk if demand for river resources continues to outstrip supply.


ASU Study: Economic Importance of the Colorado

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Smart Water Policies and Principles

Working with members of the business community we have developed a set of water policy priorities and principles designed to reduce business risk and provide water for economic, community and environmental benefit. Priorities that emerged from this process include:

• Incentivizing and removing barriers to encourage water reuse and recycling
• Encouraging conservation and efficiency
• Advancing water markets, banking and trading
• Collecting, analyzing and disseminating water data and information.

The underlying objective of these principles is to empower the business community to guide the development of sound water policies at the local, state, and regional levels. Policies that address and prioritize action on these issues are needed to sustain thriving economies in the West, maximize community livability and sustain healthy flowing rivers.