The Fryingpan-Arkansas (Project) is a multipurpose transmountain, transbasin water diversion and delivery project, authorized and constructed under federal law. The Project’s water rights have been acquired and are administered pursuant to state law. As a federal water project with state water rights, activities by both Congress and the Colorado General Assembly have the potential to greatly impact the Project.
As a federal Reclamation project, the Project is subject to Reclamation Act of 1902 and any Acts amendatory or supplementary to the 1902 Reclamation Act. Acts that amend or supplement the 1902 Reclamation Act may include Reclamation-specific statutes such as the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, the 1920 Miscellaneous Purposes Act, the Water Supply Act of 1958, and the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. In addition, federal environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and other laws also “supplement” Reclamation law. A change to any of the laws applicable to the Project could have significant impacts on the operation of the Project and the reliability of the water provided.
Similarly, changes to Colorado water law could impact the reliability and availability of the District’s water rights for the Project. Examples of state statutes the District has been active in the legislative process include water banking, interruptible supply agreements, substitute water supply plans, recognition of recreational in-channel diversions, and standards for the change of water rights.