Partnership Helps Colorado River Tribal Water Study


Southern Ute Tribal Councilwoman Lorelei Cloud, Department of Natural Resources Director Lena Atencio, and other Tribal DNR staff attended the Colorado River Water Users Association’s (CRWUA) annual conference in Las Vegas, NV during the second week of December (12/14-12/16). CRWUA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the exchange of ideas and perspectives on Colorado River use and management. Southern Ute representatives went to the conference to help present the Colorado River Basin Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study.

The Ten Tribes of the Colorado River Partnership (TTP) has been a part of CRWUA since 1996 and has become a very active participant in recent years – significantly raising the awareness of tribal water issues in the Colorado River Basin (visit for more info on both organizations).

The Southern Ute Tribe is one of the ten member tribes of the TTP. The tribe’s water rights are considered to be part of the Colorado River basin, although the tribe does not have rights on the Colorado River itself. (Please read the November 23, 2016 article in the Drum for more information and history on the Tribe’s water rights.)

The TTP has been working with the United States Bureau of Reclamation for the past three years to complete a study that accurately shows tribal water use and tribal water rights in the Basin. Information from the study should help TTP member tribes find new ways to develop and protect their water resources and have more effective involvement in the management of the Colorado River Basin. The final report is expected to be released in early 2017 and can be found by visiting



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