Department Of Interior

News Header
Office of the Secretary
Contact: Kip White: 202-271-8577 Cell
Frank Quimby: 202-208-7291
For Immediate Release: October 13, 2003
Bob Walsh 702-293-8421
Media Advisory
Secretary Norton to Sign Historic
Colorado River Water Pact

(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 water.
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 decades.
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.
WHERE: Hoover Dam Visitor Center Observation Deck, Boulder City, NV


Selected Press Releases