Excess nutrients can have a devastating effect on the quality of our drinking water, impair recreational activities such as boating and fishing, and harm fish and aquatic species. To tackle this issue, there are three approaches that can be taken. The first is to reduce the amount of nutrients entering the water system by limiting agricultural runoff. The second is to increase the efficiency of water use by implementing water conservation measures.
Lastly, a city can purchase an upstream upper agricultural water right and withdraw it to improve the performance of its downstream lower water right. Studies have demonstrated that constructing more single-family homes will increase the volumes of water needed to support housing growth, while focusing on building multifamily homes will decrease the volumes of water needed. To enhance water quality in the state, many entities are collaborating on restoration and protection projects. Interstate litigation is likely to take a decade or more and will put the future of water use on the Colorado River in the hands of the Supreme Court or its appointed special judge.
An interstate water pact must be approved by each state's legislature, signed by each governor, and approved by the U. S. Congress. Ultimately, water availability in Colorado may be reduced due to compact compliance measures (a “compact call”), limited snow accumulation and runoff caused by nature, a possible U.
Supreme Court decision, or other factors. Additional infrastructure will also be required, including storage, implementation of reusable water banks, and in some cases, easing the limitations of ordinances that prohibit or limit the use of return flows. Wealthy users of water cannot obtain a right to accumulate water supplies for sale and use in the future. Spring runoff occurs earlier than usual, and in many streams there is less water available at the end of the season for beneficial uses. In the 1890s, irrigators of the South Platte River began searching for sources of water in the headwaters of the Colorado River; this led to the construction of the Grand River ditch, which carries water from the Never Summer Range in Grand County through a cleft in the continental divide to the Cache la Poudre basin. The pacts of 1922 and 1948, the 1944 Treaty, the 1963 Supreme Court decision, and three main federal development laws could be considered as basic blocks of the River Act but are not its only elements. To obtain approval from Mexico, California Development Company (the private predecessor of Imperial Valley Irrigation District) had to deliver 50% of diverted water to farmers in Mexico. Individual municipalities work within their own boundaries and systems to provide sufficient water supplies for their current and future population.
On the western side, these rights include uses for ski resorts to make snow, municipal uses, thermal power plants and other industrial uses, as well as reservoirs such as Green Mountain, Taylor Park, McPhee and Ruedi which provide irrigation water at the end of season and augmentation water for many other junior rights. While landlords can change their use of water rights, they must do so in accordance with state regulations and cannot harm other river rights. In 1905, hoping to reduce tensions and expand the water supply, Secretary of Interior approved Rio Grande Project which includes Elephant Butte Reservoir.