(WASHINGTON, D.C.) On Thursday,
October 16, 2003, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will lead the
official signing of an historic agreement that settles long-standing
disputes among California water agencies and fulfills a solemn promise
the state made more than 70 years ago to limit its use of Colorado River
Federal, state and local officials from the Colorado River Basin States
will join Secretary Norton for the signing of the Colorado River Water
Delivery Agreement at Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada.
The venue is particularly appropriate because before the dam could be
built, the U.S. Congress required the state of California to "irrevocably
and unconditionally" agree to limit its use of Colorado River water
to 4.4 million acre-feet. The state made that promise in 1929 but has
been drawing extra or surplus water from the river for the past several
Under Secretary Norton's leadership as Water Master for the Lower Colorado
River, California has agreed to a plan that will reduce its over-reliance
on Colorado River water. By executing the Colorado River Water Delivery
Agreement, California will take specific, incremental steps to fulfill
its promise, allowing the six other Colorado River Basin States to protect
their authorized shares to meet future needs.
Following the signing ceremony, Secretary Norton will be available to
discuss the Department's role and responsibilities in developing the
pact and the implications of the agreement for other Basin States. The
Secretary also will answer questions regarding the California 4.4 Plan
and related Colorado River issues.
WHO: Secretary of
the Interior Gale A. Norton
WHAT: Official Signing of Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement.
WHEN: EVENT - 1:00 PM PDT, MEDIA SET UP 12:00 NOON PDT
WHERE: Hoover Dam Visitor Center Observation Deck, Boulder City,