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Equity and the Colorado River compact.

V. REALIZING EQUITY

In our view, the Colorado River Compact's commitment to "equitable division and apportionment of the use of the waters of the Colorado River System" (185) constitutes a venerable precedent that should guide Colorado River governance on an intergenerational basis. We acknowledge that people hold diverse views on the meaning of equity in the context of water allocation--both in terms of the factors associated with the norm and their relative priorities. We recognize (and embrace) the fact that these views change across time. We likewise make no originalist claim that our conception of equity mirrors exactly ideas about the norm held by the commissioners who formed the Compact almost a century ago. Notwithstanding these caveats, we subscribe to the basic notion that our society's varied, evolving ideas about fairness should shape schemes apportioning water use from the Colorado River System, including governance structures devised for these schemes. The Law of the River's ongoing evolution should not proceed simply based upon the principle of might-makes-right translated into political or economic terms. (186) Positioned as the cornerstone of the Law of the River, equity should be a lodestar for dialogue about the future of the Compact (187)--a dialogue of critical importance to the Colorado River and the roughly 30 million people dependent on its water. (188)

To what extent does the Compact fulfill its commitment to equity? What equity-related concerns need to be taken into account if we are serious about honoring this commitment in contemporary times? How should we move forward in light of these concerns? What exactly should be done to address them? The questions are majestic ones that we can only begin to engage in this Part. We do so by focusing on the principles of equity set forth in Part III. (189)

Relying on these equity principles, we highlight three salient issues below, each of which bears significantly on the perceived equity of the Compact's apportionment scheme and warrants consideration in contemporary discourse about Colorado River governance. Two of these issues pertain to the principles of substantive equity and are examined in the first section. We begin this section by drawing attention to the questionable distributional fairness of the Compact's apportionment scheme--specifically, in relation to how the scheme (depending upon how its key terms are interpreted) calls for allocating water between the Upper and Lower Basins in light of current and projected future hydrological conditions. After fleshing out this initial issue, we proceed to evaluate the Compact's apportionment scheme in relation to the principle of flexibility, illuminating the arguably skewed balance struck by the scheme with respect to this principle and the principles of fidelity and reliability. Subsequently addressed in the second section, the final issue broached below relates to the principles of procedural equity as they bear on the need for a functional governance structure to ensure the apportionment scheme is implemented. We broadly discuss the potential creation of a formal governance entity for this purpose.

A. Substantive Equity

1. Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity can be summarily stated as follows for our purposes: Apportionment schemes should strive for distributional fairness in terms of how they define entitlements (permitted types and amounts of water use), allocate entitlements among different types of water users, and establish the relative priorities of entitlements. (190) This principle is relevant for considering a wide range of matters associated with the Law of the River, including historical and contemporary issues related to entitlements held by American Indian tribes in the Colorado River Basin as well as entitlements held for environmental purposes (e.g., for national parks and other federal lands). (191) Stemming from our core interest in the Compact, we focus on reciprocity in this section solely with respect to relations between the Upper and Lower Basins as they are defined by the Compact. (192) The takeaway point is that pressing questions currently exist regarding the distributional fairness of the Compact's apportionment scheme--specifically, the amounts of water potentially available for use in the Upper and Lower Basins based on their respective entitlements and obligations under the Compact. These fundamental issues of equity need to be addressed proactively in ongoing dialogue about Colorado River governance.

As detailed above in Part II, (193) the provisions of Article III framing the Compact's apportionment scheme evidence a recurring emphasis on distributional fairness with respect to Upper Basin--Lower Basin relations. Article III(a) confers annual entitlements of equal size (7.5 maf) to the Upper and Lower Basins. Article III(b) increases the Lower Basin's entitlement by 1.0 maf but nonetheless leaves the overall apportionment fairly even--7.5 maf and 8.5 maf, respectively. Article III(c) calls for treaty water to be supplied to Mexico from flows beyond those spoken for in Article III(a) and (b) if possible, and it requires this obligation to be borne equally by the Upper and Lower Basins if these flows need to be tapped into. Similarly illustrative is the decadal flow obligation imposed on the Upper Division states by Article III(d)--75.0 maf every consecutive ten years. (194) Irrespective of the specific amounts of these mandated flows (a disputed issue (195)), requiring them on a decadal basis rather than an annual one affords the Upper Division states flexibility in coping with flow variability year to year. Article III(e)'s proscription against water hoarding also is relevant here, prohibiting the Upper Division states from withholding water, and the Lower Division states from requiring the delivery of water that cannot "reasonably be applied to domestic and agricultural uses."

Notwithstanding the indicia of distributional fairness contained in these provisions on paper, a different picture emerges when the conflicting interpretations of the provisions--and the allocation patterns stemming from these interpretations--are examined in light of current and projected future hydrological conditions in the Colorado River Basin.

The Lower Basin tributaries issue provides an initial illustration of this point--specifically, as it bears on the scope of the Upper and Lower Basins' entitlements in Article III(a) and (b). Simply put, if these provisions were interpreted as excluding the Lower Basin tributaries from the Compact's apportionment scheme, the Upper Basin would be entitled to use 7.5 maf of water from the Colorado River mainstem and tributaries collectively per year, while the Lower Basin would be entitled to use 8.5 maf of water annually from the mainstem alone. (196) Water use from the Lower Basin tributaries would not be governed by the Compact. This exemption holds obvious implications for the Compact's perceived distributional fairness.

Although it is unclear precisely how much water is available for use from the Lower Basin tributaries on an annual basis, several figures suggest this amount is not nominal. Covering the five-year period from 2001 to 2005, the Bureau of Reclamation's most recent Consumptive Uses and Losses Report containing these figures identifies the average amount of water use from the Lower Basin tributaries as approximately 2.19 maf per year, excluding water uses categorized as "exports" in the report. (197) The annual average is 3.74 maf if these "exports" are accounted for. (198) Equally indicative of the potential significance of the Lower Basin tributaries are figures recently produced by the Bureau of Reclamation in conjunction with its basinwide water supply and demand study identifying annual use levels for the Gila River alone (the primary Lower Basin tributary) as falling between roughly 3.25 maf and 3.5 maf per year from 2001 to 2005. (199)

Solely for the sake of discussion, if we treat the amounts of water used out of the Lower Basin tributaries in the figures above--e.g., the 3.74 maf annual average from 2001 to 2005 (again, accounting for "exports")--as representing a hypothetical "tributary entitlement," and we assume the Lower Basin also were to possess an 8.5 maf mainstem entitlement stemming from a favorable interpretation of Article III(a) and (b), the total amount of use authorized by the collective entitlement would be 12.24 maf per year. As noted above, the Upper Basin's annual entitlement would be 7.5 maf in the same circumstances. Although the former figure (12.24 maf) is used here only for purposes of illustration, the overarching point is that the Lower Basin tributaries issue implicates a potentially significant amount of water and a correspondingly altered ratio between the Upper and Lower Basins' entitlements as those are set forth in Article III(a) and (b).

In addition to the Lower Basin tributaries issue, the Upper and Lower Basins' conflicting interpretations of Article III(d)--that is, the decadal flow obligation imposed on the Upper Division states--play a critical role in determining the relative amounts of water available for use in the Upper and Lower Basins. If Article III(d) were interpreted as imposing a static delivery obligation per the Lower Basin's view, an amount of water far short of the

Upper Basin's ostensible 7.5 maf entitlement potentially could be available for use in that sub-basin. As discussed above in Part IV, paleo reconstructions estimate average annual flows of 13.0 maf to 14.7 maf at Lees Ferry, (200) and the vast majority of climate change models project 10% to 30% declines in these flows by mid-century. (201) If we rely on the more conservative estimate of 10% declines, the corresponding range of average annual flows at Lees Ferry is 11.7 maf to 13.2 maf. In turn, if we deduct 7.5 maf from these amounts--assuming the 75.0 maf flow obligation in Article III(d) is indeed a static one, and annualizing this decadal obligation to 7.5 maf per year--the amount of water remaining available for use in the Upper Basin ranges from 4.2 maf to 5.7 maf. This range is of course much lower if 30% declines are assumed: 1.6 maf to 2.8 maf. (202)

Potentially further chipping away at the amount of water available for use in the Upper Basin are the Article III(c) issues discussed above. If the Lower Basin's view were to prevail regarding the meaning of "surplus" water in Article III(c), the Upper Division states would be obligated to contribute 0.75 maf annually toward Mexico's treaty entitlement in years when the supply of water in the Colorado River System is less than 16.0 maf. (203) This obligation would adhere irrespective of the relative levels of water use in the Upper and Lower Basins.

Also stemming from Article III(c) is the Upper Basin's potential obligation to cover half of the channel losses incurred when moving treaty water through the Lower Basin. The precise amount of these losses is unclear. As with water use from the Lower Basin tributaries, however, the figures could be significant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, reservoir evaporation losses along the Colorado River mainstem in the Lower Basin averaged 1.32 maf per year between 1996 and 2000, (204) falling slightly below this level from 2001 to 20089 Coupled with these evaporation losses are losses due to phreatophytes--"deep-rooted plants that obtain water from the water table or in the vadose zone just above the water table"(206)--which averaged 0.64 maf per year along the Colorado River mainstem in the Lower Basin between 2000 and 2008. (207) If the Lower Basin's view were to prevail on the channel losses issue, an annual flow contribution of roughly 0.9 maf might be required of the Upper Division states, assuming both types of losses noted here are accounted for. Alternatively, accounting solely for reservoir evaporation losses, this flow contribution might be roughly 0.6 maf per year.

Admittedly, the material above involves a host of contingencies, both with respect to the prevailing interpretations of Article III and the hydrological data and projections. While fully acknowledging this fact, the discussion nonetheless raises important questions about an apparent disjuncture between the 7.5 maf / 8.5 maf apportionment set forth for the Upper and Lower Basins in Article III(a) and (b), and the variety of more skewed allocation patterns associated with the interpretive disputes. Although we are wary of bias and alarmism, the potential diminution of the Upper Basin's 7.5 maf entitlement to a level far below that mark-particularly in light of the possible exemption of the Lower Basin tributaries from the Compact's apportionment scheme--gives us pause. (208) Major issues of distributional fairness are at stake in this regard--issues going to the heart of the framework atop which the entirety of the Law of the River rests. If the Compact's commitment to equity is to be taken seriously--and we contend that it should--then these interpretive disputes and the issues of distributional fairness posed by them must be addressed, and ultimately resolved, in a timely manner. They need to be approached with courage, candor, and an even-handed basinwide perspective in order for Colorado River governance to evolve meaningfully in the years ahead. (209)

2. Flexibility

Enmeshed with the issues of reciprocity just discussed is a concern over the lack of flexibility in the Compact's apportionment scheme. We identified the basic notion underlying this principle in Part III. Apportionment schemes should be composed to facilitate reallocation of water resources among entitlement holders based on ongoing changes in contemporary conditions and values. (210) Because these changes are a constant--e.g., fluctuation in climatic and hydrologic conditions, advancements in scientific knowledge and technology, diversification and restructuring of economic systems, reprioritization of societal values, etc.-apportionment schemes should contain measures to enable allocation patterns to shift in conjunction with these trends. This flexibility is integral to avoiding and/or redressing issues of distributional fairness stemming from potential disconnects between the composition of apportionment schemes and the contemporary circumstances in which they are operating. In short, flexibility is essential to realizing equity, and the equity of the Compact should be closely examined under this metric.

In drawing attention to the principle of flexibility as it bears on the Compact's apportionment scheme, we certainly do not intend to overlook the countervailing principles of fidelity and reliability--as defined in Part III. (211) The relationship between these principles is an important matter. Are the principles inherently and irreconcilably at odds? Does the notion that apportionment schemes should be composed to enable adaptation to contemporary circumstances mean per se that commitments to entitlement holders must be broken (and through unfair processes), and that entitlement holders cannot rely on their entitlements to a reasonable degree? These questions are obviously loaded, and the answer to them is '"no." Equity is realized by striking a balance between these principles. Our interest in the discussion below is to consider precisely how that balance has been struck in the Compact's apportionment scheme.

On one hand, we acknowledge there are arguably very few limits to the flexibility of the Compact's apportionment scheme--at least in terms of the possible forms it might assume in the future ff sufficient political will exists. Collaboration among the sovereigns--federal, state, and tribal--and diverse water users with interests in the Colorado River System could foreseeably yield a variety of arrangements aimed at integrating flexibility into the apportionment scheme without forsaking the principles of fidelity and reliability. We look forward to the innovative measures that may come about in this realm going forward.

On the other hand, examining the Compact's apportionment scheme in its existing form, one of our major equity-related concerns involves the extent to which the Compact prioritizes fidelity and reliability over flexibility. Like above, Article III illustrates this dynamic. Consider initially the nature of the entitlements conferred to the Upper and Lower Basins in Article III(a) and (b). These entitlements are squarely quantity-based. They authorize the Upper and Lower Basins to use specific quantities of water from the Colorado River System annually: "[T]he exclusive beneficial consumptive use of 7,500,000 acre feet of water per annum" (212) for both subbasins and, for the Lower Basin, "the right to increase its beneficial consumptive use of such waters by one million acre per annum." (213) Likewise, the entitlements are permanent in nature, "apportioned from the Colorado River System in perpetuity to the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin." (214) Article III(c) and (d) contain similarly firm quantified flow obligations. Article III(c)'s flow obligation is tethered to Mexico's 1.5 maf treaty entitlement. (215) In turn, although it is subject to the conflicting interpretations noted above, Article III(d) obligates the Upper Division states not to cause flows at Lee Ferry from being depleted below "75,000,000 acre feet for any period of ten consecutive years reckoned in continuing progressive series." (216)

Articles VII and VIII also are worth highlighting in this regard-specifically, based on how they emphasize fidelity. Notwithstanding the absence of American Indian tribes at the compact negotiations, (217) Article VII contains an important broadly-stated disclaimer bearing on entitlements held by these tribes in water from the Colorado River System: "Nothing in this compact shall be construed as affecting the obligations of the United States of America to Indian tribes." (218) In a similar respect, Article VIII evidences how the Compact commissioners were cognizant of pre-existing entitlements generally, providing: "Present perfected rights to the beneficial use of waters of the Colorado River System are unimpaired by this compact." (219)

By drawing attention to the foregoing provisions, we by no means wish to convey the impression that their emphasis on fidelity and reliability is categorically misplaced--quite the opposite in many respects. Yet the core question driving this discussion is worth reiterating: Where in the Compact's apportionment scheme is the counterbalancing emphasis on flexibility? We are challenged to find provisions analogous to those surveyed above.

Article III(d) does seem notable for its flexibility to an extent. It does not prescribe minimum annual flows at Lee Ferry. As noted above, its flow obligation is decadal rather than annual in nature, which affords the Upper Division states flexibility in coping with variation in annual flow levels. Conceding Article III(d)'s relevance in this regard, however, the Compact's emphasis on flexibility nonetheless seems proportionately minimal.

The marginal emphasis on flexibility in the Compact's apportionment scheme is distinguishable from the approach taken in other important areas of interstate water law in the United States. The equitable apportionment doctrine provides one illustration of this dynamic. Decrees entered by the Supreme Court in its equitable apportionment cases contain re-opener provisions allowing for their modification due to changed conditions. (220) Equally distinct with regard to this dynamic are the Upper Basin Compact and the Arizona v. California Decree.

Perhaps the most remarkable flexibility-oriented feature of the Upper Basin Compact is its entitlements. Conferring a small quantity-based entitlement to Arizona, (221) the other entitlements established for the Upper Basin states are percentage-based. Specifically, they are defined according to percentages of the "total quantity of consumptive use per annum apportioned in perpetuity to and available for use each year by [the] Upper Basin under the Colorado River Compact." (222) Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming are entitled to 51.75%, 11.25%, 23%, and 14%, respectively, of this consumptive use per year. (223) As the available amount of this consumptive use varies in accordance with the basin's hydrology, so does the scope of the Upper Basin states' entitlements--a much different approach than that in Articles III(a) and (b) of the Compact.

In at least three related ways, the apportionment scheme prescribed by the Arizona v. California Decree also is notable for its flexibility. This scheme governs the use of water from the Colorado River mainstem by the Lower Division states (again, Arizona, California, and Nevada).

First, the Arizona v. California Decree conditions the amount of water released annually to water users in the Lower Division states upon the available water supply. Specifically, the amount of water released hinges on a determination by the Secretary of the Interior regarding whether the mainstem water supply in the Lower Basin is sufficient to satisfy varying levels of consumptive use in the Lower Division states. (224) "Normal" conditions exist when the water supply allows for 7.5 maf of consumptive use in a given year. Arizona, California, and Nevada are entitled to 2.8 maf, 4.4 maf, and 0.3 maf of such use, respectively. (225) In contrast, "surplus" and "deficiency" conditions adhere when the water supply allows for more or less, respectively, than 7.5 maf of annual consumptive use by these states. (226)

Second, like the Upper Basin Compact, the Arizona v. California Decree establishes percentage-based entitlements for the Lower Division states during surplus conditions. Arizona, California, and Nevada are entitled to use 46%, 50%, and 4%, respectively, of any mainstem water in excess of 7.5 maf that is made available for consumptive use in the Lower Basin. (227)

Third, the Arizona v. California Decree authorizes the release of water apportioned to, but unused in, one of the Lower Division states in a given year to a different Lower Division state. (228) This provision has enabled the recent development of innovative programs in the Lower Basin aimed at promoting efficient and flexible water use, including a water banking program (229) and an "intentionally created surplus" program. (230) These programs are complex, but generally speaking, they both allow water to be temporarily allocated among the Lower Division states in ways that deviate from the entitlements set forth for the states in the Decree. In order for this deviation to occur, water users must enter into agreements with the Secretary of the Interior whereby they commit to not using a portion of the water associated with their state's entitlement. In turn, relying on these agreements, the Secretary can reallocate this water on an annual basis to water users in a different Lower Division state pursuant to the Decree. (231)

As shown by this brief overview, the Compact's apportionment scheme is markedly different from those put into place by the Upper Basin Compact and the Arizona v. California Decree in terms of its minimal emphasis on flexibility. At least the current form of the Compact's apportionment scheme strikes a distinct balance between this principle and the principles of fidelity and reliability--again, we look forward to seeing what lies ahead.

Ultimately, the rub of this arguably skewed balance comes back to the issues of distributional fairness addressed above. The integration of flexible measures into the Compact's apportionment scheme could go a long way toward facilitating allocation patterns between the Upper and Lower Basins that are more even-handed than those associated with the existing interpretive disputes. Perhaps the Upper and Lower Basins' entitlements in Article III(a) and (b) might serve as a baseline from which a more fluid and dynamic apportionment can be crafted. Regardless of the specific forms such measures may take, a greater emphasis on allocational flexibility at the basinwide level seems critical to realizing an equitable apportionment in coming decades. This topic and the innovations associated with it require attention, creativity, and open-mindedness in contemporary discourse regarding Colorado River governance.

B. Procedural Equity

Essential to the success of efforts aimed at addressing the reciprocityand flexibility-related issues discussed above is a threshold procedural matter--namely, the existence of a functional governance structure to facilitate successful implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme. In accord with the principles of procedural equity surveyed in Part III, this governance structure should be composed along at least three lines. It should: 1) provide the diverse parties whose interests are affected by the scheme with meaningful opportunities to participate in the processes associated with implementing it (principle of inclusivity); 2) establish adequate measures to ensure the substantive terms of the scheme are implemented--fully and accurately (principle of diligence); and 3) promote openness and engagement in the processes devised for implementing the scheme (principle of transparency). Although not intended to be exhaustive, we consider these principles critical to realizing commitments to both substantive and procedural equity.

Support for a governance structure framed along these lines can be found in the Compact itself. Article V calls for cooperation among state water resource officials and the directors of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey to: 1) "promote the systematic determination and coordination of the facts as to flow, appropriation, consumption and use of water in the Colorado River Basin," and 2) "secure the ascertainment and publication of the annual flow of the Colorado River at Lee Ferry." (232) In light of these provisions, Article V has been construed as authorizing formation of "a continuing Colorado River Commission comparable to that which negotiated the compact." (233) Also worth revisiting is Article VI. It authorizes the appointment of commissioners to address a wide range of disputes potentially arising among the basin states, including those related to "the meaning or performance of any of the terms of this compact" and "the allocation of burdens incident to the performance of any article of this compact or the delivery of waters as herein provided." (234)

Other major components of the Law of the River offer even clearer evidence of the merits of a governance structure shaped in this mold. As noted in Part II, formal governance entities have been established (or designated) to implement the apportionment schemes set forth in other key components of the Law of the River--specifically, the International Water and Boundary Commission for the U.S.-Mexico Treaty of 1944, the Upper Colorado River Commission for the Upper Basin Compact, and the Bureau of Reclamation for the Arizona v. California Decree. Reflecting commitments to inclusivity and transparency, a host of consultation and public participation requirements apply to the activities of these entities under these and related laws. (235) Equally notable are myriad provisions within the Law of the River prescribing monitoring processes aimed at collecting flow, use, and related data; (236) reporting requirements; (237) and accounting methods, (238) All of these provisions speak to the principle of diligence.

Nonetheless, although the foregoing entities and measures are indispensable within their respective domains, they do not put into place a basinwide governance structure--particularly, as relevant here, with respect to implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme. (239) Put differently, diligent administration of the apportionment schemes in the U.S.-Mexico Treaty of 1944, Upper Basin Compact, and Arizona v. California Decree by the entities just noted does not equate with the same treatment of the Compact's framework scheme within which these subsidiary schemes are situated. As noted in Part II, the Colorado River Commission disbanded after negotiating the Compact in 1922, and a comparable entity has not since been created. (240)

Having drawn attention to the absence of a formal governance structure for the Compact's apportionment scheme, we will not digress here into the specific forms that such a Structure might take. (241) Perhaps a joint federal-state commission like the Upper Colorado River Commission might be worth considering on a basinwide scale. An alternative approach would be the more federalized structure surrounding the Bureau of Reclamation in relation to the Colorado River mainstem in the Lower Basin. Overall, a variety of institutional designs likely can be conceived that would comport with the principles of procedural equity outlined above.

Rather than surveying the potential forms of such a governance structure, our core point is simply to emphasize the value (arguably, the necessity) of having some type of permanent, formally composed entity in place to perform at least two essential tasks in relation to the Compact's apportionment scheme. (242) One is to ensure the terms of the scheme are implemented. The other is to provide a forum in which current and future conflicts over the meaning of these terms can be addressed and potentially resolved in lieu of Supreme Court litigation. (243)

Issues currently obstructing implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme warrant considering formation of a formal governance entity tailored to these priorities. As an initial matter, methodological issues plague efforts to obtain accurate measurements of annual use levels and flow levels for the Lower Basin tributaries. (244) Assuming that these tributaries are governed by the Compact (a contentious Issue), (245) both types of measurements are essential to diligent administration of the Compact's apportionment scheme. Accurate measurements of annual use levels are critical for determining whether water use in the Lower Basin exceeds the 8.5 maf entitlement set forth in Article III(a) and (b). If so, according to the Upper Basin, the obligation of the Upper Division states to contribute treaty water to Mexico under Article III(c) is relieved to the extent such excess ("surplus") water exists. (246) In a related vein, accurate measurements of annual flow levels in these tributaries are pivotal for assessing the overall amount of flows within the Colorado River System in a given year. According to the Lower Basin, if this amount is less than 16.0 maf, then Article III(c) requires the Upper Division states to contribute half of the flows required to satisfy Mexico's treaty entitlement. (247)

In addition to being hampered by methodological and related interpretive issues associated with the Lower Basin tributaries, implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme also is hindered by the Upper and Lower Basins' conflicting interpretations of the scheme's other definitional terms, including Article III(d)'s contested flow obligation. It is worth considering whether the existence of a formal governance entity might have prevented the emergence or persistence of these interpretive disputes at earlier points in the Compact's history. A similar perspective applies to avoidance of novel disputes arising over the Compact's terms in the future. Although we will not revisit the existing interpretive disputes here, (248) suffice it to say that their existence in earlier stages of the Law of the River's evolution was one thing and their continuation in the future is another. Buffeting the need to resolve these conflicts has been a generally broad margin between water supply and demand levels in the basin throughout most of the twentieth century. (249)The days of this buffer now appear behind us. In short, implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme in the years ahead seemingly necessitates resolution of these disputes, whether in the context of a formal governance entity or otherwise.

To sum up this section, the establishment of a formal governance structure for the Compact's apportionment scheme might be a solid step toward resolving and/or avoiding methodological and interpretive issues impeding the scheme's implementation. It is a potential measure deserving consideration in ongoing dialogue about Colorado River governance. Although we leave the specific makeup of a formal entity open in this discussion, the principles of procedural equity provide general guidelines for institutional design in this regard. Admittedly, successful implementation of the Compact might occur in the future without the creation of a formal governance structure--for example, via the informal governance arrangements of the status quo. But perhaps not--and a lot rides on this "but," including the spirit of the Compact.

VI. CONCLUSION

The Colorado River Commission was on the right track in emphasizing equity as the norm around which the Compact's apportionment scheme should be framed. Notwithstanding the commissioners' diverse views on what precisely an equitable apportionment should look like, as well as the distinctions between their conceptions of the meaning of "equity" and ours here, the basic notion that the Compact's apportionment scheme should be composed and implemented in a fair manner rings true. We find untenable and unsettling the opposite view--i.e., that the Compact should bring about an inequitable apportionment (substantively and procedurally) in the Colorado River Basin. Likewise, although we recognize the rhetorical flourish and potential political motivations associated with emphasizing "equity" in the Compact's text, we firmly believe this commitment should be made real in the here and now. It should be guarded and championed with vigor in contemporary times as the spirit of the Compact.

Depending upon the particular measures it entails, the process of fulfilling the Compact's commitment to equity may admittedly be analogous to moving a mountain. Arguably even more taxing than the potential rigors of this endeavor, however, are the foreseeable consequences of simply abiding by the notion that when it comes to the Compact, sleeping dogs just must be left to lie. If a close look at the Compact's commitment to equity is not justified by the confluence of the existing interpretive disputes and current and projected future hydrological conditions in the basin, then we respectfully are hard-pressed to conceive of circumstances that might warrant integrating the foundation of the Law of the River into ongoing dialogue about Colorado River governance. Extrapolating on the Compact's commitment to equity, we have offered modest input in this Article about three key concerns worth vetting in this dialogue.

We find troubling potentially major issues of distributional fairness rooted in longstanding interpretive disputes between the Upper and Lower Basins over framing provisions of the Compact's apportionment scheme. These issues generally stem from an apparent disjuncture between the 7.5 maf / 8.5 maf apportionment set forth in Article III(a) and Co) of the Compact and the variety of more skewed allocation patterns associated with the interpretive disputes. Persisting in some cases for almost a century, these disputes portend to whittle down the Upper Basin's entitlement considerably while at the same time exempting the Lower Basin tributaries from the Compact's apportionment scheme. In short, it is unclear to what extent Colorado River governance can move forward in great strides without these disputes being resolved.

Implicated by these concerns of reciprocity is the seemingly precarious balance struck in the Compact between fidelity and reliability on one hand, and flexibility on the other. Undoubtedly, the sky may be the limit in terms of casting the Compact's apportionment scheme in a more flexible mold. We await innovations in this vein with genuine enthusiasm. In its current form, however, the Compact appears distinct from other major components of the Law of the River in its lack of flexibility-oriented features. Drawing on such features existent elsewhere in the Law of the River, to what extent might the Compact evolve in coming decades to become more flexible? Resoling some of the major issues of distributional fairness might hinge on this question. We hope (and expect) it will be treated as a high priority going forward.

Finally, promising potential gains across the board with regard to procedural equity--that is, successful implementation of the Compact's apportionment scheme--is the prospect of establishing a more formal, ongoing, and inclusive governance structure. In raising this point, we do not dismiss the possibility that existing informal governance arrangements may be up to the tasks of ironing out the potentially game-changing interpretive disputes outside of the Supreme Court and ensuring that the Compact's framing provisions are indeed implemented. One way or the other, though, these things need to happen. It is incumbent on basin leaders and the citizenry alike to ensure the letters comprising the Compact's text are not dead ones.

Looking toward the future, Colorado River governance needs to be shaped by an acknowledgment that proactive measures aimed at fulfilling the Compact's commitment to equity place the U.S. Southwest on a much better pathway than one characterized by habitual legal uncertainty, marginal implementation, and recurring parochial conflict. Engagement with the equity-related issues canvassed in this Article (and others like them) is integral to charting a course along this higher road. There is no reason to expect that legal and policy innovations derived from dialogue about these issues will be any less novel than those developed at earlier stages of the Law of the River's evolution. We are incredibly optimistic about the capacity that exists in this regard, and we look forward to being part of the conversations from which these innovations will take root. Hopefully, their novelty will be matched by their equity. The fate of the Colorado River as a sublime, defining facet of the U.S. Southwest warrants nothing less.

(1) See BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER BASIN WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND STUDY, INTERIM REPORT NO. 1, at SR-2, SR-10 (2011), available at http://www.usbr.gov/1c/region /programs/crbstudy/Report1/StatusRpt.pdf [hereinafter STATUS REPORT] (describing the importance of the Colorado River Basin to the surrounding Basin States and providing a useful map of the Colorado River Basin and adjacent areas where water is diverted from the Colorado River and its tributaries).

(2) Id. at SR-5.

(3) See CTR. FOR PARK RESEARCH, NAT'L PARKS CONSERVATION ASS'N, NAT'L PARKS OF THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN: WATER MANAGEMENT, RESOURCE THREATS, AND ECONOMICS 3, 20 (2011), available at http://www.npca.org/about-us/center-for-park-research/colorado_river_basin/ Colorado-River-Report.pdf (identifying the effect that management of dams along the Colorado River and its tributaries has on national park units located in the Colorado River Basin).

(4) See U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, FEDERAL LANDS AND INDIAN RESERVATIONS (2005), available at http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/fedlands/fedlands3.pdf (detailing locations of the numerous Indian reservations and other federal lands within the Colorado River Basin).

(5) See SOUTHWICK ASSOCS., ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF OUTDOOR RECREATION ON THE COLORADO RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES 2 (2012), available at http://www.southwickassociates .com/portfolio-view/economic-contributions-of-outdoor-recreation-on-the-colorado-river-its-tributaries (identifying total value of all spending associated with recreational activities involving the Colorado River and its tributaries as $25.6 billion per year).

(6) 373 U.S. 546 (1963).

(7) For an excellent survey of the laws comprising the Law of the River, see Lawrence J. MacDonnell, Colorado River Basin, in 4 WATERS AND WATER RIGHTS 5, 13-25 (Amy K. Kelley ed., 3d ed. 2011). For electronic copies of these laws, see John Weisheit, The Hoover Dam Documents, ON THE COLORADO, Dec. 18, 2010, http://www.onthecolorado.cont/articles.cfm? mode=detail&id=1292710182151 (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(8) See generally NORRIS HUNDLEY, JR., WATER AND THE WEST: THE COLORADO RIVER COMPACT AND THE POLITICS OF WATER IN THE AMERICAN WEST (2d ed. 2009) [hereinafter WATER AND THE WEST] (providing a seminal account of the genesis of the Colorado River Compact and subsequent evolution of major components of the Law of the River). Additional sources offering outstanding accounts of different aspects of the history of the Law of the River and the Colorado River Basin include: WILLIAM DEBUYS, A GREAT ARIDNESS: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST 139-41, 165-72 (2011) (examining the history and litigation surrounding Arizona's allocation of the Colorado River); PHILIP L. FRADKIN, A RIVER NO MORE: THE COLORADO RIVER AND THE WEST (Univ. of Cal. Press paperback ed. 1996) (1981) (comprehensively detailing the history and politics of the Colorado River Basin's development); MARK W. T. HARVEY, A SYMBOL OF WILDERNESS: ECHO PARK AND THE AMERICAN CONSERVATION MOVEMENT (1994) (examining the clash between conservation and development interests in the 1950s over the proposed Echo Park Dana in Dinosaur National Monument); MICHAEL HILTZIK, COLOSSUS: HOOVER DAM AND THE MAKING OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY (2010) (describing the attempt to tame the Colorado River through the construction of Hoover Dam and how it defined the West and America); NORRIS HUNDLEY, JR., DIVIDING THE WATERS: A CENTURY OF CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO (1966) (detailing the gradual formation of a treaty by the United States and Mexico governing their respective interests in the Colorado River); Norris Hundley, Jr., The West Against Itself: The Colorado River--An Institutional History, in NEW COURSES FOR THE COLORADO RIVER: MAJOR ISSUES FOR THE NEXT CENTURY 9 (Gary D. Weatherford & F. Lee Brown eds., 1986) (providing a concise overview of major events in the evolution of the Law of the River); RUSSELL MARTIN, A STORY THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM: GLEN CANYON AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE WEST (Univ. of Utah Press ed. 1999) (examining the struggle between conservation and development interests in conjunction with the authorization and construction of Glen Canyon Dam in the 1950s and 1960s); CHARLES F. WILKINSON, FIRE ON THE PLATEAU: CONFLICT AND ENDURANCE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST (paperback ed. 2004) (detailing the explosive industrial development of the Colorado Plateau in the mid-twentieth century and illuminating its effects on American Indian tribes and the Plateau today); Charles F. Wilkinson, Land of Fire, Land of Conquest: The Colorado Plateau and Some Questions for Its Future, 13 J. ENERGY NAT. RESOURCES & ENVTL. L. 337, 356-68 (1993) (discussing the development and impact of water, mining, and other natural resources laws on the Colorado Plateau over the past several decades from the perspective of the Navajo and Hopi reservations, and exploring possibilities for the tribes' future).

(9) This term comes from a historical model developed by Mr. Jim Lochhead breaking the past 100 years in the evolution of the Law of the River into three eras. Mr. Lochhead refers to the current era as the "era of limits." See Felix L. Sparks, Article Update, Synopsis of Major Documents and Events Relating to the Colorado River, 3 U. DENV. WATER L. REV. 339, 340-42 (2000).

(10) See id. at 340-41.

(11) See, e.g., BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER BASIN WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND STUDY, PHASE 4: DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR BALANCING WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND, REQUEST FOR IDEAS 6-8 (2011), available at http://www.usbr.gov/ 1c/region/programs/crbstudy/OptionsSubmittalReport.pdf (offering projections of future supply-demand imbalances in the Colorado River Basin).

(12) A key example of these innovations is the formation of the 2007 Interim Guidelines, which emerged in response to sustained drought in the Colorado River Basin during the past decade and aim to promote efficient and flexible water use in the Lower Basin. Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region, Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead, http://www.usbr. gov/lc/region/programs/strategies.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012). For an electronic copy of the Record of Decision for these Guidelines, see U.S. DEP'T OF THE INTERIOR, RECORD OF DECISION, COLORADO RIVER INTERIM GUIDELINES FOR LOWER BASIN SHORTAGES AND COORDINATED OPERATIONS FOR LAKE POWELL AND LAKE MEAD (2007), available at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/ region/programs/strategies/RecordofDecision.pdf [hereinafter INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD]. Also notable for its innovation is the Lower Basin water banking program established in 1999. The federal regulations creating this program are set forth at: Storage and Release of Colorado River Water and Intentionally Created Unused Apportionment in Lower Division States, 43 C.F.R. pt. 414 (2011).

(13) In addition to the CRGI's efforts, the Colorado River Basin was one of five major basins recently examined in conjunction with Harvard University's Water Federalism Project. For more information on that project, see Jason A. Robison et al., Forging Ahead in the Era of Limits: The Evolution of Interstate Water Policy in the Colorado River Basin, Colorado River Basin Background Paper prepared for Water Federalism Conference, Harvard University, April 19-21, 2012, available at http://watersecurityinitiative.seas.harvard, edu/sites/default/files/ Colorado%20River%20Basin%20Background%20Paper_0.pdf. Also notable in this realm is the Western Water Assessment--a joint effort of the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For a list of WWA's projects, visit http://wwa.colorado.edu/colorado_river/index.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(14) Critical among federal efforts in this arena is the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study. The goal of this study is to identify current and future imbalances in water supplies and demands in the basin and to develop and analyze various strategies for resolving these imbalances. Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colo. Region, Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study, http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region /programs/crbstudy.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(15) E.g., Protect the Flows, Who We Are, http://protectflows.com/who-we-are (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(16) See Nat'l Parks Conservation Ass'n, NPCA Launches Colorado River Program, http:// www.npea.org/about-us/regional-offices/southwest/colorado-river-program.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012); Carpe Diem West, Colorado River Futures Program, http://carpediemwest.org /what-we-do/colorado-river-futures-program (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(17) For information about the CRGI, see Univ. of Colo. at Boulder, Western Water Policy Program: Colorado River Governance Initiative (CRGI), http://waterpolicy.info/projects/CRGI (last visited Nov. 18, 2012). Electronic copies of CRGI reports, technical memoranda, and conference materials can be found at: Univ. of Colo. at Boulder, Western Water Program: Colorado River Information Portal, http://waterpolicy.info/projects/CRIP/index.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(18) See, e.g., COLO. RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF THE COLORADO RIVER, DRAFT INTERIM REPORT OF THE COLORADO RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE 8 (2010) [hereinafter INTERIM REPORT] (on file with author) (in discussing projected impacts of climate change on future annual flows in Colorado River Basin, the report states that "greater than 90% of the climate models project decreases of 10-30% for the time period 2041-2060"). A full discussion of current and projected water supply and demand conditions in the Colorado River Basin is contained infra Part IV.A.

(19) See, e.g., HARVEY, supra note 8, at 292-93 (discussing the historic controversy over construction of Echo Park Dam in Dinosaur National Monument). See generally MARTIN, supra note 8 (discussing authorization and construction of Glen Canyon Dam vis-a-vis emergence of environmentalism in Colorado River Basin); Roderick Nash, Wilderness Values and the Colorado River, in NEW COURSES FOR THE COLORADO RIVER: MAJOR ISSUES FOR THE NEXT CENTURY 201, 201-13 (Gary D. Weatherford & F. Lee Brown eds., 1986) (discussing the genesis and evolution of wilderness values related to Colorado River and Colorado River Basin).

(20) Colorado River Compact, ch. 189, 1923 Colo. Sess. Laws 684 (1923) (codified as amended at COLO. REV. STAT. [section][section] 37-61-101 to -104 (2012)). The Compact was negotiated in 1922 pursuant to congressional authorization. The Act authorizing the negotiations cited as reasons supporting formation of the Compact the generally arid nature of the region and the avoidance of water disputes among the states. See Act of Aug. 19, 1921, Pub. L. No. 67-56, 42 Stat. 171. By 1925, six states had ratified the Compact, but it was not until 1928 that Congress approved it with enactment of the Boulder Canyon Project Act, Pub. L. No. 70-642, 45 Stat. 1057 (1928). The final state to ratify the agreement was Arizona in 1944. Each of the states has enacted the Compact as part of their state codes. We provide citations to Colorado's enactments for simplicity and convenience.

(21) See generally WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8 at 138-214 (offering a detailed account of the negotiation and eventual formation of the Compact).

(22) Colorado River Compact, arts. II(f)-(g), III(a)-(b) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (apportioning water between the "Upper Basin" and "Lower Basin" and defining basins to encompass portions of seven U.S. states). Mexico is entitled to water from the Colorado River based on a treaty with the United States formed after, but anticipated by, the Compact. See id. art. III(c); DAVID L. ALLES, THE DELTA OF THE COLORADO RIVER 2 (2007), available at http://fire.biol.wwu.edu/trent/alles/TheDelta.pdf (describing the course of the Colorado delta through the Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora).

(23) This analogy is drawn from Robert W. Adler, Revisiting the Colorado River Compact: Time for a Change?, 28 J. LAND RESOURCES & ENVTL. L. 19, 21 (2008) ("[T]he compact has a legal and rhetorical status and resistance to change similar to that of a constitution.").

(24) See id. ("[T]hrough the eyes of its supporters, implementers, and commentators, [the Compact] is viewed as a document whose stature and significance defies even the serious suggestion of change....").

(25) See STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-2 ("Today, more than 30 million people in the seven western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, ... Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming ... rely on the Colorado River and its tributaries to provide some, if not all, of their municipal water needs.").

(26) Colorado River Compact, art. I(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(27) See generally WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8 (describing the genesis of the Colorado River Compact). For a copy of the minutes of the compact negotiations, see COLO. RIVER COMM'N, MINUTES AND RECORD OF THE FIRST EIGHTEEN SESSIONS OF THE COLORADO RIVER COMMISSION NEGOTIATING THE COLORADO RIVER COMPACT OF 1922 (1922), available at http://www .riversimulator.org/Resources/LawOfTheRiver/MinutesColoradoRiverCompact.pdf.

(28) See WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 182.

(29) Treaty on Utilization of the Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande, U.S.-Mex., at p. 2, Feb. 3, 1944, T.S. 994 [hereinafter U.S.-Mexico Treaty].

(30) Upper Colorado River Compact, COLO. REV. STAT. [section][section]37-62-101 to -106 (2012) (apportioning annual water use entitlements from the Upper Colorado River System among the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming); see also Act of Apr. 6, 1949, Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31 (granting congressional consent to the Upper Basin Compact).

(31) Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546, 564-65 (1963) (holding that Congress--in passing the Boulder Canyon Project Act--intended to create its own comprehensive scheme for apportioning the use of water from the Colorado River mainstem among the Lower Division states). The consolidated decree, which combines the original 1963 decree with several supplemental decrees issued in the decades following the original Arizona y. California decision, can be found at: Arizona v. California (Decree), 547 U.S. 150 (2006).

(32) See generally W. Water Policy Program, Law of the River Apportionment Scheme, http:// www.waterpolicy.info/archives/docs/Categorization%20of%20Laws,%20Jan%202012.pdf?p=1672 (last visited Nov. 18, 2012) (providing typology identifying the common types of laws at different levels of the Law of the River's apportionment scheme).

(33) See infra Part III.A.

(34) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(35) This phrase ("primary purpose") is drawn from the report prepared for Congress by Herbert Hoover, the federal representative and commission chairman at the compact negotiations. RAY LYMAN WILBUR & NORTHCUTT ELY, THE HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS at A24 (1948), available at http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/LawOfTheRiver/HooverDamDocs/Hoover Dam1948.pdf [hereinafter HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS] ("The primary purpose of the compact is to make an equitable division and apportionment of the waters of the river.").

(36) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(37) Act of Aug. 19, 1921, Pub. L. No. 67-56, 42 Stat. 171, 172.

(38) COLO. RIVER COMM'N, supra note 27, at 2.

(39) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(40) For an outstanding biography of Delph Carpenter, see DANIEL TYLER, SILVER FOX OF THE ROCKIES: DELPHUS E. CARPENTER AND WESTERN WATER COMPACTS (2003).

(41) Minutes of the 22nd Meeting of the Colorado River Commission (Nov. 22, 1922), in COLO. RIVER COMM'N, MINUTES AND RECORD OF SESSIONS NINETEEN THRU TWENTY SEVEN OF THE COLORADO RIVER COMMISSION NEGOTIATING THE COLORADO RIVER COMPACT 167 (1922), available at http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/LawOfTheRiver/MinutesColoradoRiverCompact.pdf.

(42) Id.

(43) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(44) Id. art. III(f) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(45) Id. art. III(g) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(46) See infra Part V.A.

(47) The Supreme Court's original jurisdiction extends to "all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party." U.S. CONST. art. III, [section] 2, cl. 2 (emphasis added).

(48) Kansas v. Colorado, 185 U.S. 125, 145 (1902).

(49) 259 U.S. 419 (1922) (holding that priority of appropriation is a controlling factor when engaging in equitable apportionments involving states that adhere to the prior appropriation doctrine). In modern times, the Court considers multiple factors beyond temporal priority when crafting an equitable apportionment, and has described its doctrine as flexible, non-formulaic, and requiting the exercise of informed judgment. Colorado v. New Mexico, 459 U.S. 170, 183-84 (1982). See generally Douglas L. Grant, Equitable Apportionment Suits Between States, in 3 WATERS AND WATER RIGHTS 45-1 (Amy K. Kelley ed., 3d ed. 2011).

(50) WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 177-80.

(51) The unprecedented use of interstate compacts in this context was noted in a memorandum prepared for the House Judiciary Committee by the Colorado Commissioner at the compact negotiations, Delph Carpenter, in conjunction with hearings held in 1921 addressing the federal act authorizing the negotiations. See HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A91.

(52) See id. at A90 (noting existence of two methods of equitable apportionment and describing Supreme Court litigation as "the substitute, under our form of government, for war between the States").

(53) Upper Basin Compact, art. I(a), Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31 (1949) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)). Notably, the Colorado River Compact, Upper Basin Compact, and equitable apportionment doctrine are certainly not unique as areas of water law where equity is treated as a pivotal norm. Equitable utilization is the governing norm in international water law. See generally Joseph W. Dellapenna, International Law Applicable to Water Resources Generally, in 3 WATERS AND WATER RIGHTS 49-87 (Amy K. Kelley ed., 3d ed. 2011) (identifying the prevailing emphasis on equitable utilization in international water law). Equity likewise influences the shape of legal doctrines devised for water allocation at the state level within the United States. See generally Harrison C. Dunning, State Equitable Apportionment of Western Water Resources, 66 NEB. L. REV. 76 (1987) (discussing equity in relation to riparian and prior appropriation doctrines).

(54) For a succinct description of the provisions defining the Compact's apportionment scheme (and related aspects of the Compact), see Charles J. Meyers, The Colorado River, 19 SWAN. L. REV. 1, 12-18 (1967).

(55) As fleshed out in Part IV, numerous disagreements currently exist concerning the meaning of key terms contained in these Articles. In order to avoid describing these contested provisions in a seemingly biased way, we have incorporated large portions of the Compact's text into this section.

(56) Colorado River Compact, art. III(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-601-101 (2012)).

(57) Id. art. III(b) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(58) An enlightening discussion of the reason for the scope of the Upper and Lower Basins' entitlements in Article III(a) and (b) appears in a statement prepared by Richard E. Sloan, the legal advisor to the Arizona Commissioner at the compact negotiations, W.S. Norviel. See HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A69.

(59) U.S. Geological Survey, Water Science Glossary of Terms, http://ga.water.usgs.gov/ edu/dictionary.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(60) Colorado River Compact, art. II(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(61) Specifically, different methods exist in the Upper and Lower Basins for measuring the amount of beneficial consumptive use associated with: 1) entitlements held by the Upper Basin states under the Upper Basin Compact, and 2) entitlements held by the Lower Division states under the Arizona v. California Decree. Compare Upper Basin Compact, art. VI, Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31 (1949) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)) ("The Commission shall determine the quantity of the consumptive use of water, which use is apportioned by Article HI hereof, for the Upper Basin and for each State of the Upper Basin by the inflow-outflow method in terms of man-made depletions of the virgin flow at Lee ferry...."), with Decree, 547 U.S. 150, 153 sec. I(A) (2006) ("'Consumptive use' means diversions from the stream less such return flow thereto...."). As noted later in this section, the Compact does contain a definition for "domestic use" that encompasses a wide variety of water uses. Colorado River Compact, art. II(h) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-01-101 (2012)). The Compact likewise refers to the use of water for agricultural, domestic, power, and navigation purposes, prescribing the relative priorities of these uses. Id. art. IV(a)-(b) (codified as (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)). Enlightening discussions of the meaning of "beneficial consumptive use" as this term appears in Article III(a) and (b) can be found in two reports prepared by the Colorado Commissioner at the compact negotiations, Delph Carpenter, copies of which can be found in HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A80, A102.

(62) The Compact commissioners initially considered formulating an apportionment scheme framed around state-based entitlements--i.e., irrespective of states' locations in the upper and lower portions of the basin--but they ultimately found this approach impractical. A succinct description of this turning point in the compact negotiations appears in the report prepared by the Wyoming Commissioner, Frank C. Emerson, for the Wyoming legislature. See HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A126.

(63) Colorado River Compact, art. II(f) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101) (emphasis added). The dividing point between the Upper and Lower Basins, "Lee Ferry," is located on "the main stream of the Colorado River one mile below the mouth of the Paria River." Id. art. II(e) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(64) Id. art. II(g) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101) (emphasis added).

(65) Id. art. II(c) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(66) Id. art. II(d) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(67) U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29.

(68) Id. art. 10(a), T.S. 994 at 21.

(69) Colorado River Compact, art. III(c) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(70) Id.

(71) Id. art. III(d) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(72) Id. art. III(e) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(73) Id. art. II(h) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101).

(74) Id. art. VIII (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101). The water used by holders of present perfected rights must be counted against the entitlement of the sub-basin (Upper or Lower Basin) in which these rights exist. Id. art. III(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101) (providing that the 7.5 maf entitlements apportioned to Upper and Lower Basins by Article III(a) "shall include all water necessary for the supply of any rights which may now exist."). Article VII--the so-called "wild Indian Article"--also constitutes an important aspect of the Compact's apportionment scheme. It states tersely that "[n]othing in this compact shall be construed as affecting the obligations of the United States of America to Indian tribes." Id. art. VII (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101). For a brief account of the unflattering discussion surrounding Article VII at the compact negotiations, see WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 210-12.

(75) Compare Upper Basin Compact, art. IV(c), Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31, 34 (1949) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101) (excluding "rights perfected prior to November 24, 1922" from curtailment procedures), with Decree, 547 U.S. 150, 154 sec. I(H) (2006) ("'Present perfected rights' means perfected rights [acquired in accordance with state law], existing as of June 25, 1929, the effective date of the Boulder Canyon Project Act.').

(76) See, e.g., MacDonnell, supra note 7, at 50. ("Many interstate compacts provide for the establishment of commissions to make decisions, collect data, and implement compact provisions. The Colorado River Compact of 1922 creates no such entity. None of the many other elements of the Law of the River provides a means of basin governance either.").

(77) U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29, art. 2, T.S. 944 at 5-8.

(78) Id. arts. 12(d), 24(g), T.S. 944 at 26, 44.

(79) See Upper Basin Compact, art. VIII, Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. at 35 (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)).

(80) Decree, 547 U.S. 150, 164 sec. V (2006).

(81) Cf. MacDonnell, supra note 7, at 14, 48, 50 (noting that the negotiated Compact, while providing for basin-state governors to appoint commissioners to oversee future controversies, failed to create an interstate governance entity).

(82) See id. at 50 (discussing the historical lack of coordination among the basin states).

(83) Colorado River Compact, art. VI (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(84) Id. ("Nothing herein contained shall prevent the adjustment of any such claim or controversy by any present method or by direct future legislative action...."); id. art. IX (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) ("Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit or prevent any State from instituting or maintaining any action or proceeding, legal or equitable, for the protection of any right under this compact or the enforcement of any of its provisions.").

(85) Id. art. III(f) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(86) Id. art. III(g) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(87) Id. art. V(a)-(c) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)). This article refers to the "Director of the United States Reclamation Service." The U.S. Reclamation Service is now the "U.S. Bureau of Reclamation," and the title of its administrative head is the "Commissioner." See Bureau of Reclamation, The Bureau of Reclamation: A Very Brief History, http://www.usbr.gov/history/borhist.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(88) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(89) See, e.g., CONCISE OXFORD AMERICAN THESAURUS 270 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2006).

(90) The challenge of conceptualizing "equity" is reflected in the Supreme Court's multi-factor approach to equitable apportionment. See Colorado v. New Mexico, 459 U.S. 176, 183 (1982) ("Equitable apportionment ... is a flexible doctrine which calls for the exercise of an informed judgment on a consideration of .... all relevant factors, .... [O]ur aim is always to secure a just and equitable apportionment without quibbling over formulas.") (internal quotations and citations omitted). Equitable utilization doctrine in international water law is equally concerned with this basic yet nuanced determination. See Dellapenna, supra note 53, at 49-126 to 49-134.

(91) For academic scholarship addressing the norm of equity in the context of water law and policy, see generally Helen Ingrain et al., The Importance of Equity and the Limits of Efficiency in Water Resources, in WATER, PLACE, AND EQUITY 1 (John M. Whiteley et al. eds., 2008) [hereinafter Importance of Equity]; Helen Ingram et al., Water and Equity in a Changing Climate, in WATER, PLACE, AND EQUITY 271 (John M. Whiteley et al. eds., 2008) [hereinafter Water and Equity]; Stephen P. Mumme, From Equitable Utilization to Sustainable Development: Advancing Equity in US-Mexico Border Water Management, in WATER, PLACE, AND EQUITY 117 (John M. Whiteley et al. eds., 2008); Charles W. Howe, Water Resources Planning in a Federation of States: Equity Versus Efficiency, 36 NAT. RESOURCES J. 29 (1996); SARAH F. BATES ET AL., SEARCHING OUT THE HEADWATERS: CHANGE AND REDISCOVERY IN WESTERN WATER POLICY 182-87 (1993); Helen M. Ingram et al., Replacing ConTusion with Equip: Alternatives for Water Policy in the Colorado River Basin, in NEW COURSES FOR THE COLORADO RIVER: MAJOR ISSUES FOR THE NEXT CENTURY 177 (Gary D. Weatherford & F. Lee Brown eds., 1986) [hereinafter Replacing Confusion]; David H. Getches, Colorado River Governance: Sharing Federal Authority as an Incentive to Create a New Institution, 68 U. COLO. L. REV. 573, 590-601 (1997).

(92) See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 178-79, 183; Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 9; Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 178-79, 195-96.

(93) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101) (2012)).

(94) See Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 8 ("The principles of equity are complex and contingent on circumstances, varied and nuanced, and cannot be fully understood until put back into the life cycle of living things. Consequently, there is no simple principle or set of principles ... which can be set out as rules and universally applied in all places and circumstances."); see also id. at 3 ("Any articulation of the role of equity must recognize ... that if equity is to emerge, it must do so in specific places under specific circumstances--there is no 'one size fits all' conception of equity that is workable."); see also id. at 29 ("In virtually every case of water and equity, history is important."); Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 185 ("What equity can mean ... will depend importantly on the particular and even unique conditions characterizing water policy in the Colorado Basin.").

(95) The Supreme Court's multi-factor approach to equitable apportionment illustrates the diversity of values implicated by interstate water allocation and the non-formulaic balancing process associated with reconciling them. See Colorado v. New Mexico, 459 U.S. 176, 183 (1982) (identifying a non-exhaustive list of factors used for equitable apportionment and the "delicate adjustment of interests" associated with reconciliation (quoting Nebraska v. Wyoming, 325 U.S. 589, 618 (1945)); Water and Equity, supra note 91, at 271 ("[E]quity can only be served through processes of decision making that reflect the full range of values with which water is associated."); see also id. at 276 ("Additional levels of complexity and conflict arise because there are many other values that are not utilitarian in nature."); Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 4 ("The efficiency framework, like other frameworks, is based on values. Individual preferences count.").

(96) Striving for equity with regard to the makeup of water apportionment schemes is thus an aspirational process. See Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 8 ("Like the concept of democracy, equity is not some objective state of being, but rather an ideal, vision, or aspiration that continues to challenge citizens to strive toward achieving it in greater depth, scope, and authenticity.").

(97) The dynamic nature of equity is reflected in re-opener provisions allowing for modification of equitable apportionment decrees issued by the Supreme Court. See, e.g., Nebraska v. Wyoming, 507 U.S. 584, 591-93 (1993) (discussing circumstances under which decrees may be modified); see also Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 195 ("[W]ater represents satisfaction of a socially defined and legitimated 'need,' .... Socially defined needs conflict and change under new circumstances....").

(98) See infra Part III.B.1 and text accompanying notes 103-15 (discussing the concept of "substantive equity").

(99) See Getches, supra note 91, at 590 ("[E]quity demands that water serve a broad range of public interests and a process for reaching decisions that is generally fair.").

(100) See infra Part V.A.

(101) Put differently, we intend our conception of equity to be useful for thinking about the makeup of apportionment schemes that (unlike the Compact's) do not contain textual commitments to the norm.

(102) See infra Part V.A-B.

(103) See Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 186 (discussing reciprocity as a distributive principle around which a broader equity framework is constructed: "'[r]eciprocity' captures one sense of equity, namely, the notion that distributive advantages and costs should be shared by all members of the relevant community") (emphasis omitted).

(104) Getches, supra note 91, at 590 ("The idea that water is a social good--something setting it apart from ordinary commodities and property--leads to the conclusion that it should be distributed fairly and in the broad interests of the public."); BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 185 ("A hard look at water policy should seek distributional fairness."); see also id. at 182 ("People are frustrated with a policy that allows one user to flood-irrigate alfalfa in a time of drought, while others are forced to curtail their uses or even go without any water at all. Decisions based on political or economic strength alone offend a sense of fairness.").

(105) We conceive of the principal of reciprocity as encompassing concerns about intergenerational equity and environmental sustainability that might otherwise be treated as freestanding principles. See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 187-92 (discussing the principle of ecology); Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 189 (discussing intergenerational responsibility as a distributive principle around which a broader equity framework is constructed, and arguing that "the present use of water resources should take account of future generations.") (emphasis omitted).

(106) See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 183 ("[S]ociety's balance is threatened when control of wealth becomes so absolute or extensive that one or a few individuals monopolize resources crucial to survival or to satisfying basic needs of society.").

(107) See Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 187 (discussing how the principle of value pluralism--separate from the principle of reciprocity--dictates that "users' rights to employ water to pursue whatever values they consider legitimate should be respected, provided [such] use does not degrade the resource or harm others") (emphasis omitted).

(108) See id. at 186 (describing how the principle of reciprocity dictates "in the case of water allocation [that] those who use more should expect to have to sacrifice more under conditions of scarcity").

(109) See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 180-82 (discussing the principle of conservation, which "demands that the advantages and disadvantages of every water use be carefully weighed" and "asks that a proposed use be considered in relation to the whole community, that the use be no more than necessary, [and] that its harmful effects on others be minimized or avoided").

(110) See Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 188 (discussing the fulfillment of promises as a distributive principle around which a broader equity framework is constructed: "equity assumes the obligation to obey promises agreed to in good faith in the course of negotiation and compromise") (emphasis omitted).

(111) See id.at 188-89 (discussing circumstances where equity may compel deviation from promises). See also Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 12 ("The principle of equity suggests that past promises must be considered, even if they are outweighed by needs to provide equity to existing deserving but underserved populations.... Equity dictates that present day decisions not unduly burden the scope of future human choices.").

(112) See Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 26-27 (discussing compensation for parties forced to make sacrifices due to counterbalancing equities).

(113) See, e.g., Robert Haskell Abrams, Interstate Water Allocation: A Contemporary Primer for Eastern States, 25 U. ARK. LITTLE ROCK L. REV. 155, 155 (2002) (discussing the importance of reliability and predictability regarding water rights in the American West: "allocation becomes vital as a means of providing predictability and security of right under conditions of scarcity and competition for the use of the limited supply of water").

(114) See, e.g., Water and Equity, supra note 91, at 298 ("Essential to adoption of any system of values designed to promote equity is the need to adopt policies that are self-correcting; that acknowledge, in other words, the fallibility of any policy framework and the need to permit and embrace policy change.").

(115) See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 186 ("Simply enforcing old rights and laws can be downright unfair to interests throughout the community."). Circumstances warranting water reallocation--and thus highlighting the importance of designing adaptable and flexible apportionment schemes--may involve redressing historical inequities stemming from past prejudicial treatment of marginalized water users. See, e.g., Getches, supra note 91, at 591-95 (describing the legal struggle of American Indian tribes in the Colorado River Basin to obtain adequate water supplies for their reservations as ostensibly secured by entitlements ("reserved rights") announced in Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908)). Reallocation of water resources for environmental purposes also may be warranted based on changes in societal values. See id. at 595-601 (discussing the environmental impacts of water development in the Colorado River Basin and the evolving role played by environmental concerns in Colorado River governance).

(116) See Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 21 ("Equity requires fair, open, and transparent decision-making processes in which all individuals and groups affected by water decisions have an opportunity to participate."); Getches, supra note 91, at 590 ("[E]quity demands that water serve a broad range of public interests and a process for reaching decisions that is generally fair.").

(117) See Water and Equity supra note 91 at 299-300 (discussing the importance of structuring decision-making processes so they are not pre-determined but instead encourage open deliberation); BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 182 ("The essential importance of water places a special value on the manner in which decisions are made respecting its use and availability. The whole community must be considered in those decisions, and all interests must have a meaningful opportunity to participate."); see also id.at 186 ("Water decisions will be fairer if decision makers must answer to those affected by their decisions. Laws should require governments to account for impacts of their water decisions at all levels."); Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 188 (discussing participation as an important equity-related principle).

(118) See supra notes 103-09 and accompanying text.

(119) See Replacing Confusion, supra note 91, at 188 ("[E]quity assumes the obligation to obey promises agreed to in good faith in the course of negotiation and compromise.").

(120) See, e.g., Water and Equity, supra note 91, at 300 (discussing value of transparency in policymaking processes aimed at promoting equity).

(121) Importance of Equity, supra note 91, at 21 ("Equity requires fair, open, and transparent decision-making processes.... [A]ny approach to management should emphasize process as much as substance--providing the widest possible debate and deliberation." (quoting DAVID LEWIS FELDMAN, WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (1991)).

(122) Of course the scope of water resources available for use in and around the basin bears significantly on the extent to which future water demands will increase. Water demands cannot exceed water supplies indefinitely.

(123) This phrase is drawn from FRADKIN, supra note 8. For excellent discussions of ecological conditions in the Colorado River Basin, see generally ROBERT W. ADLER, RESTORING COLORADO RIVER ECOSYSTEMS: A TROUBLED SENSE OF IMMENSITY (2007), and Robert W. Adler, An Ecosystem Perspective on Collaboration for the Colorado River, 8 NEV. L.J. 1031 (2008).

(124) INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 3 (identifying the historical pattern and scholarship addressing this issue).

(125) See STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-4 fig.1, SR-7 fig.2 (identifying historical trends in water use and supply levels in the Colorado River Basin).

(126) See BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, Supra note 11, at 7 (projecting future water demand levels in the Colorado River Basin up to 2060).

(127) As noted above, this supply-demand imbalance is the central focus of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's ongoing Basin Study. Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study, http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(128) STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-2.

(129) Id. at SR-2 n.4, SR-4 fig.1, SR-7 fig.2, SR-31. It also should be noted that the Bureau of Reclamation has used historical flows based on U.S. Geological Survey records to represent natural flows for other Lower Basin tributaries--e.g., the Paria River, Little Colorado River, Virgin River, and Bill Williams River. Id. at SR-2 n.4, SR-4 fig. 1, SR-7 fig.2, SR-31. As acknowledged by the Bureau of Reclamation, this treatment of the Lower Basin tributaries--i.e., exclusion of Gila River inflows and use of historical flows rather than natural flows for the other tributaries--"limits the ability of the [Basin Study] to fully assess the natural supply of the Basin." Id. at SR-31.

(130) See id. at SR-4 fig.1, SR-7 fig.2 (identifying natural flow variability).

(131) See id. (identifying flow levels during this period).

(132) BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER BASIN WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND STUDY, TECHNICAL REPORT B--WATER SUPPLY ASSESSMENT B-12 (2012), available at http://www.usbr .gov/1c/region/programs/crbstudy/Report1/Updates/TechRptB.pdf.

(133) Id. at B-21.

(134) Colorado River Compact, art. II(e) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)). A useful map identifying "Lees Ferry" (the gauging station site) and "Lee Ferry" (the dividing point between the Upper and Lower Basins) can be found at: BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, THE COLORADO RIVER DOCUMENTS 2008, at 2-9 (2010), available at http://www.riversimulator.org/ Resources/LawOfTheRiver/HooverDamDocs/ColoradoRiverDoc2008.pdf.

(135) Id. at 2-10.

(136) INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 14, 70. Reflecting wet conditions prevalent during the early twentieth century, records used by compact negotiators suggested annual Lees Ferry flows of at least 16.8 maf, while the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation suggested a more conservative estimate of 16.4 maf. Id. at 70. Individual negotiators relied on considerably higher amounts. See id.; HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A60, A103, A118, A127 (identifying estimates of over 18.0 maf of natural flows annually).

(137) INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 67-68, 70.

(138) See STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-2 (noting average of "approximately 15.0 maf of natural flow into the Upper Basin" per year based on the historical record); INTERIM REPORT, Supra note 18, at 67 (noting 15.2 maf of average annual flows at Lees Ferry per the historical record).

(139) STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-3.

(140) Id. See also INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 67-68 (discussing the relatively wet and invariable conditions in the basin throughout the twentieth century as compared to past centuries assessed by paleo reconstructions).

(141) INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 17, 71.

(142) Id. at 71.

(143) Id. at 17.

(144) Id. at 67-68, 70.

(145) Id. at 71.

(146) STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-7 fig.2; BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, supra note 11, at 7 fig.2. Water demands exceeded water supplies in the basin on an annual or short-term basis at several points in the latter half of the twentieth century. STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-4 fig. 1.

(147) STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-25, SR-27 fig.9.

(148) Id. Annual deliveries of treaty water to Mexico ranged from 1.5 maf to 1.7 maf (excluding spills) during this period, and annual evaporation losses from reservoirs increased from approximately 1.7 maf to 2.3 maf. Id.

(149) Id. at SR-27 fig.9. The precise water use levels were: Upper Basin--3.788 maf; Lower Basin--7.586 maf; treaty water deliveries--1.5 maf; and reservoir evaporation losses--1.683 maf. Id. Taken together, these uses total 14.557 maf. In addition to this total, roughly half a million acre-feet were lost due to phreatophyte and operational inefficiency losses. Id.

(150) Id. at SR-27 fig.9, n.1.

(151) See generally BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER BASIN WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND STUDY, TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM C--QUANTIFICATION OF WATER DEMAND SCENARIOS (2012), available at http://www.usbr.gov/1c/region/programs/crbstudy/TechMemoC/TMCreport. pdf [hereinafter WATER DEMAND SCENARIOS] (examining six different water demand scenarios in the basin).

(152) See id. at C-6 to C-10 (identifying factors used in projecting water demand scenarios); INTERIM REPORT, supra note 18, at 58-65 (discussing water demands vis-a-vis the factors of population growth and energy development).

(153) WATER DEMAND SCENARIOS, supra note 151, at C-17 to C-19, C-19 fig.C-5. On an annual basis, this projection contemplates treaty water deliveries of 1.5 maf to Mexico, reservoir evaporation losses of 2.0 maf, and phreatophyte and operational efficiency losses of roughly 0.75 maf. Id. at C-19 fig.C-5.

(154) Id. at C-19.

(155) Id. at C-21 fig.C-6.

(156) U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29, art. 10(a), T.S. 944 at 21.

(157) For scholarship describing the Mexican treaty obligation as the highest priority of the Law of the River, see Lawrence J. MacDonnell et al., The Law of the Colorado River: Coping with Severe Sustained Drought, 31 WATER RESOURCES BULL. 825, 826 (1995), and John U. Carlson, The Colorado River Compact: A Breeding Ground for International, National, and Interstate Controversies 11 (June 5-7, 1989) (on file with the authors). Article III(c) supports this view of the Mexican treaty obligation by requiring the Upper and Lower Basins to make equal contributions toward treaty flows if "surplus" water is not available for this purpose. See infra Part IV.B.1.b; see also Colorado River Basin Project Act, 43 U.S.C. [section] 1512 (2006) (declaring satisfaction of the Mexican Water Treaty supply requirements a "national obligation"); id.[section] 1552 (designating Mexico's Article III(c) entitlement as the first priority of releases from Lake Powell).

(158) These three issues are analyzed in greater detail in COLO. RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, RESPECTIVE OBLIGATIONS OF THE UPPER AND LOWER BASINS REGARDING THE DELIVERY OF WATER TO MEXICO: A REVIEW OF KEY LEGAL ISSUES (2012), available at http://www.waterpolicy.info /archives/docs/Obligations%20Regarding%20the%20Delivery%20of%20Water%20to%20Mexico .pdf?p= 1689.

(159) For useful discussions of how this issue was addressed at the compact negotiations, see id. at 11-20. See also WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 196-204, 258, 292.

(160) See supra notes 56-58 and accompanying text (providing text of Article IlI(a) and (b)). In short, Article III(a) entitles the Lower Basin to use 7.5 maf of water from the Colorado River System annually, and Article III(b) augments this entitlement by authorizing an additional 1.0 maf of use per year. These articles do not prohibit water use in the Lower Basin from exceeding 8.5 maf annually per se, but they preclude the Lower Basin from acquiring legal title to water use beyond this amount--i.e., absent further equitable apportionment pursuant to Article III(f) and (g). This construction of Article III is set forth in a report prepared for the Colorado Senate by the Colorado Commissioner at the compact negotiations, Delph Carpenter, a copy of which can be found in HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A101.

(161) Colorado River Compact, art. HI(c) (codified at COLO. REV. SWAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(162) For useful commentary on the Lower Basin's position, see Carlson, supra note 157, at 15-16; John U. Carlson & Alan E. Boles, Jr., Contrary Views of the Law of the Colorado River: An Examination of Rivalries Between the Upper and Lower Basins, 32 ROCKY MTN. MIN. L. INST. 21, [section] 21.0512][a] (1986); David H. Getches, Competing Demands for the Colorado River, 56 U. COLO. L. REV. 413, 425 (1985).

(163) Decree, 373 U.S. 546, 565-66 sec. I (1963).

(164) Seminal scholarship examining Arizona v. California includes Norris Hundley, Jr., Clio Nods." Arizona v. California and the Boulder Canyon Project Act--A Reassessment, 3 W. HIST. Q. 17 (1972); Meyers, supra note 54, at 43-73; Joseph L. Sax, Problems of Federalism in Reclamation Law, 37 U. COLO. L. REV. 49 (1964); Edward B. Clyde, The Colorado River Decision--1963, 8 UTAH L. REV. 299 (1963); and Frank J. Trelease, Arizona v. California: Allocation of Water Resources to People, States, and Nation, 1963 SUP. CT. REV. 158 (1963).

(165) Colorado River Compact, art. III(c) (codified at COLO. REV. SWAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(166) For useful scholarship addressing the Upper Basin's position, see Carlson, supra note 157, at 15-19; Carlson & Boles, supra note 162; and Getches, supra note 162.

(167) Colorado River Compact, art. II(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (emphasis added). See infra Part V.A.1 (discussing implications of construing the Compact to exclude the Lower Basin tributaries).

(168) Article III(c) provides: "If ... the United States of America shall hereafter recognize in the United States of Mexico any right to the use of any waters of the Colorado River System, such waters shall be supplied first from the waters which are surplus over and above the aggregate of the quantities specified in [Article III(a) and (b)]." Colorado River Compact, art. III(c) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012) (emphasis added).

(169) See id.art. III(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (apportioning from the "Colorado River System" to the Upper and Lower Basins entitlements to use 7.5 maf of water annually); id. art. III(b) (entitling the Lower Basin to increase its use of "such waters" by 1.0 maf per year).

(170) A fuller discussion of this issue--including a close look at predecessor provisions to Article III(c) considered at the compact negotiations--can be found at COLORADO RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, supra note 158, at 26-40.

(171) For useful scholarship identifying the Upper Basin's position, see Lawrence J. MacDonnell, The Disappearing Colorado River, 9 W. ECON. F., Fall 2010, at 1, 2-3; W. Patrick Schiffer et al., Prom a Colorado River Compact Challenge to the Next Era of Cooperation Among the Seven Basin States, 49 ARIZ. L. REV. 217, 220-21 (2007); James S. Lochhead, An Upper Basin Perspective on California's Claims to Water from the Colorado River Part I: The Law of the River, 4 U. DENVER WATER L. REV. 290, 320 (2001); Carlson, supra note 157, at 19-20; Carlson & Boles, supra note 162; Edward W. Clyde, Institutional Response go Prolonged Drought, in NEW COURSES FOR THE COLORADO RIVER: MAJOR ISSUES FOR THE NEXT CENTURY 109, 116 (Gary D. Weatherford & F. Lee Brown eds., 1986) [hereinafter Institutional Response]; Edward W. Clyde, Conflicts Between the Upper and Lower Basins on the Colorado River, in RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT: FRONTIERS FOR RESEARCH 113, 127-28 (Franklin S. Pollak ed., 1960) [hereinafter Conflicts]. A recent (albeit generally stated) expression of the Upper Basin's position can be found in Letter from Scott Balcomb et al., Governors' Representatives on Colo. River Operations of the States of Colo., N.M., Utah, and Wyo., to Herb Guenther et al., Governors' Representatives of the States of Ariz., Cal., and Nev. (Oct. 7, 2004) (on file with the authors) (stating that a deficiency per Article III(c) has not been shown to exist and therefore the Upper Basin has no obligation to share in it).

(172) Useful scholarship identifying the Lower Basin's position includes MacDonnell, supra note 171, at 3 n.12; Schiffer et al., supra note 171, at 221-22; Carlson, supra note 157, at 15; Carlson & Boles, supra note 162, [section] 21.0512][b]; Institutional Response, supra note 171, at 113; Getches, supra note 171, at 421-22; Meyers, supra note 54, at 16-17.

(173) Colorado River Compact, art. III(c) (codified at COLO. REV. SWAT. [section][section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (emphasis added).

(174) Id

(175) This issue is discussed in greater detail in COLORADO RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, supra note 158, at 41-57. Included in this discussion is a good deal of material drawn from the compact negotiations, including exchanges among the commissioners addressing this issue and relevant predecessor provisions of Article III(c).

(176) For commentary noting the Lower Basin's position, see Schiffer et al., supra note 171, at 225; Carlson, supra note 157, at 20; Carlson & Boles, supra note 162, [section] 21.05[2][c]; Getches, supra note 162, at 422-23.

(177) The Upper Basin's position is identified in: MacDonnell, supra note 171, at 2-3; WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 204 n.77; Carlson, supra note 157, at 21; Carlson & Boles, supra note 162, [section] 21.0512][c]; and Getches, supra note 162, at 422-23.

(178) Colorado River Compact, art. III(c) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (emphasis added).

(179) Id. art. III(d) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(180) Id. (emphasis added).

(181) For a lengthy review of this interpretation and the variety of Law of the River provisions related to it, see generally COLO. RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, DOES THE UPPER BASIN HAVE A DELIVERY OBLIGATION OR AN OBLIGATION NOT TO DEPLETE THE FLOW OF THE COLORADO RIVER AT LEE FERRY? (2012), available at http://waterpolicy.info/archives/docs/Delivery%20Obligation %20memo.pdf?p=1693. See also ERIC KUHN, RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER BASIN 13 (2012), available at http://www.crwcd.org/media/uploads/Kuhn_on_ Risk_Mgt_Strategies_of the UCRB.pdf ("The 75 million is not a delivery requirement because nature, and/or presumably pre-1922 Compact water rights, could deplete the flow below this amount without a violation of Article III(d)."); MacDonnell, supra note 171, at 4 (noting that this interpretation "would reduce the flow obligation according to the reduction in water availability attributable to climate change").

(182) See, e.g., MacDonnell, supra note 171, at 4 ("The argument is the flow obligation cannot override the specific apportionment to the Upper Basin, especially so long as the Lower Basin has sufficient water to consume 7.5 million acre-feet.").

(183) See, e.g., COLO. RIVER GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE, supra note 158, at 2, 14 ("[T]he prevailing interpretation has been that the Upper Basin has the obligation to deliver 75 million-acre feet every ten years ... downstream to the Lower Basin....").

(184) See id. at 7-8, 23-24 (noting the potential concession).

(185) Colorado River Compact, art. I (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (emphasis added).

(186) See BATES ET AL., supra note 91, at 182 (noting how water policy decisions "based on political or economic strength alone offend a sense of fairness").

(187) We acknowledge that the diverse parties engaged in this dialogue undoubtedly hold different views about the meaning of "equity" and correspondingly distinct positions regarding the optimal makeup of the Compact's apportionment scheme. Notwithstanding this diversity, our contention here is simply that the terms and substance of the parties' competing positions should address the Compact's commitment to equity, rather than treating this commitment as mere surplusage.

(188) STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-2 ("Today, more than 30 million people in the seven western states of Arizona, California, Nevada ... and Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming ... rely on the Colorado River and its tributaries to provide some, if not all, of their municipal water needs.").

(189) See supra Part III.B (discussing the principles of substantive and procedural equity).

(190) For a fuller discussion of the principle of reciprocity, see supra Part III.B.1.

(191) See, e.g., Getches, supra note 91, at 591-601 (examining tribal and environmental issues related to water allocation in the basin from an equity-based perspective).

(192) To be clear, the discussion in this section is not aimed at assessing what an equitable apportionment would look like in the basin in the absence of the Compact--e.g., if prescribed anew by Supreme Court decree. As noted above, our interest lies in considering issues of distributional fairness stemming from the existing composition of the Compact's apportionment scheme--specifically, as the conflicting interpretations of the scheme's key terms entail allocating water in light of current and projected future hydrological conditions in the basin.

(193) See supra Part II.A.

(194) The equitable nature of Article III(d) in this regard was noted by Herbert Hoover in his post-negotiation analysis of the Compact presented to the U.S. House of Representatives. See HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A34 ("The period of 10 years was fixed ... as being long enough to allow equalization between years of high and low flow, and as representing a basis fair to both divisions.").

(195) See supra Part IV.B.2.

(196) To be clear, we make no presumption about how the apportionment scheme set forth for the Lower Division states in the Arizona v. California Decree might bear on whether the Lower Basin is entitled to use 8.5 maf from the Colorado River mainstem in any given year. Nor do we assume that water supply conditions in the basin would enable this amount of use. Our point is simply that the Compact itself would allow it if Article III(a) and (b) were interpreted as pertaining solely to the use of Colorado River mainstem water in the Lower Basin.

(197) BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER SYSTEM CONSUMPTIVE USES AND LOSSES REPORT: 2001-2005, at iv (2012), available at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/library/envdocs/reports/ crs/pdfs/cul2001-05.pdf [hereinafter CONSUMPTIVE USES AND LOSSES REPORT]. The precise amount of average annual use was 2.186 maf during this period. The figures on which this average is based are set forth in: id. at 36-40. The Bureau of Reclamation has prepared a provisional Consumptive Uses and Losses Report for the 2006-2010 period; however, this report focuses solely on the Upper Basin and does not contain figures for Lower Basin tributary use. Electronic copies of these reports can be found at Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colo. Region, Colorado River System Consumptive Uses and Losses Reports, http://www.usbr .gov/uc/library/envdocs/reports/crs/crsul.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(198) Specifically, accounting for "exports," the amounts of use from the Lower Basin tributaries between 2001 and 2005 were 3.8002 maf, 3.7212 maf, 3.6917 maf, 3.6508 maf, and 3.8364 maf, respectively. CONSUMPTIVE USES AND LOSSES REPORT, supra note 197, at 36-40. The precise annual average based on these amounts was 3.74006 maf. Per the Bureau of Reclamation's methodology, these figures apparently count as "exports" water diverted from the Colorado River mainstem via the Central Arizona Project for use within the Gila River system. See., e.g., id. at 36 n.4 ("Outside system exports for the Gila River in Arizona includes the Central Arizona Project diversion from the mainstem. While this diversion is not truly 'exported' water, this method was chosen to account for the CAP water used in the system.").

(199) BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER BASIN WATER SUPPLY AND DEMAND STUDY, INTERIM REPORT NO. 1, TECHNICAL REPORT C--WATER DEMAND ASSESSMENT app. C5-16 fig.10 (2011), available at http://www.usbr.gov/1c/region/programs/crbstudy/Report1/TechRptC.pdf. These figures account for reservoir evaporation losses of less than 250,000 acre-feet per year. Id These figures likewise account for the use of water delivered to the Gila River system from the Colorado River mainstem via the Central Arizona Project. Id. at app. C5-15 ("There are multiple sources of water that supply consumptive uses in the Gila River tributary, including tributary water, mainstream Colorado River water that is delivered via the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and non-tributary groundwater."). This report also contains provisional figures identifying annual levels of water use from three other Lower Basin tributaries--the Little Colorado River, Virgin River, and Bill Williams River--between 2001 and 2005. Id. at app. C5-10 fig.4, app. C5-11 fig.6, app. C5-13 fig.8.

(200) See, e.g., INTERIM REPORT, supranote 18, at 67.

(201) Id.at 17, 71.

(202) If we assume 30% declines from the 13.0 maf to 14.7 maf range taken from paleo reconstructions, the corresponding range of average annual Lees Ferry flows is 9.1 maf to 10.3 maf. Deducting annualized flows of 7.5 maf per Article III(d), the remaining amount of available water falls between 1.6 maf and 2.8 maf. In light of this range, it is worth noting that present perfected rights in the Upper Basin may total roughly 2.2 maf annually, although there is uncertainty sin-rounding this precise figure. INTERIM REPORT, Supra note 18, at 47-48.

(203) As noted above, the Lower Basin tributaries issue--i.e., the exclusion or inclusion of these tributaries vis-a-vis the Compact's apportionment scheme--bears on the scope of water sources considered when determining whether 16.0 maf of water exists in the Colorado River System in a given year. See discussion supra Part IV.B. 1.a.

(204) BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, COLORADO RIVER SYSTEM CONSUMPTIVE USES AND LOSSES REPORT: 1996-2000, at 31 tbl.LC-1 (2012), available at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/library/envdocs/ reports/crs/pdfs/cul-1996-2000.pdf. The precise figure for these losses was 1.3183 maf per year. Id.

(205) See WATER DEMAND SCENARIOS, supra note 151, at C-42 fig.C-16 (demonstrating the decline in reservoir evaporation losses between 2001 and 2008 and attributing this trend to lower average reservoir storage). Average annual reservoir evaporation losses along the Colorado River mainstem in the Lower Basin were approximately 1.10 maf between 2001 and 2005. CONSUMPT1VE USES AND LOSSES REPORT, supra note 197, at 33 tbl.LC-1.

(206) WATER DEMAND SCENARIOS, supra note 151, at C-42.

(207) Id. at C-43, C-44 fig.C-17.

(208) Although not higtlighted in the discussion above, it is worth reiterating that the Upper Basin contributes 92% of the natural flows in the Colorado River System. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, supra note 134, at B-21. The Supreme Court has described the origin of waters in interstate rivers as an irrelevant factor for purposes of its equitable apportionment doctrine. Colorado v. New Mexico, 467 U.S. 310, 323 (1984). However, this approach differs from that taken in international water law, where the relative flow contributions of basin states are regarded as an operative consideration in determining their "reasonable and equitable" shares. See, e.g., JOSEPH L. SAX ET AL., LEGAL CONTROL OF WATER RESOURCES: CASES AND MATERIALS 891 (4th ed. 2006) (identifying treatment of origin factor under Helsinki Rules and noting distinction with equitable apportionment doctrine).

(209) We acknowledge that the seemingly pressing need to resolve the interpretive disputes addressed in this section may be diminished (at least temporarily) by the implementation of large-scale projects aimed at augmenting water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. Examples of such augmentation projects and other policy options for addressing the supply-demand imbalance in the basin can be found at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study: Options Received to Resolve Water Supply and Demand Imbalances, http:// www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy/imbalanceoptions.html (last visited Nov. 18, 2012).

(210) For a full discussion of the principle of flexibility, see supra Part III.B. 1.

(211) See supra Part III.B. 1 for a full discussion of the nature of these two principles.

(212) Colorado River Compact, art. III(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(213) Id. art. III(b) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(214) Id. art. III(a) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)) (emphasis added).

(215) U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29, art. 10, T.S. 944 at 21. Notably, the article establishing Mexico's 1.5 maf annual entitlement provides for augmented deliveries of up to 1.7 maf as well as reduced deliveries of less than 1.5 maf "[i]n the event of extraordinary drought or serious accident to the irrigation system in the United States." Id. art. 10(b). Moreover, as this Article goes to press, the United States and Mexico have just signed a treaty minute, Minute 319, putting into place interim measures enabling Mexico to use the water afforded by its entitlement in a more flexible manner--i.e., to arrange for augmented or reduced (deferred) annual deliveries of this water. Minute 319, Interim International Cooperative Measures in the Colorado River Basin Through 2017 and Extension of Minute 318 Cooperative Measures to Address the Continued Effects of the April 2010 Earthquake in the Mexicali Valley, Baja California, U.S.-Mex., [section] III.1, 4, November 20, 2012 (on file with authors). For an up-to-date list of all of the treaty minutes that have been enacted see Int'l Boundary & Water Commission, Minutes Between The United States and Mexican Sections of the IBWC, www.ibwc.state.gov/Treaties_Minutes/Minutes.html (last visited Nov. 23, 2012).

(216) Colorado River Compact, art. III(d) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)). As discussed below, the decadal nature of this flow obligation does afford the Upper Division states some degree of flexibility in meeting it, as would the Upper Basin's construction of Article III(d) identified above in Part IV.B.2.

(217) WATER AND THE WEST, supra note 8, at 211 ("No attempt was made to discover how many Indians were in the basin or what their water needs were. The commission simply assumed that the water rights of Indians were 'negligible.'").

(218) Colorado River Compact, art. VII (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(219) Id. art. VIII (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(220) See, e.g., Nebraska v. Wyoming, 534 U.S. 40, 54-56 (2001). The modified decree entered in this case allows for its further modification in accordance with "[a]ny change in conditions making modification of the Modified Decree or the granting of further relief necessary or appropriate." Id. at 55. Notably, parties seeking modification of these decrees must make a showing of "substantial injury," as "the interests of certainty and stability counsel strongly against reopening an apportionment of interstate water rights absent considerable justification." Nebraska v. Wyoming, 507 U.S. 584, 593 (1993).

(221) Upper Basin Compact, art. III(a)(1), Pub. L. No. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31 (1949) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)) (entitling Arizona to 50,000 acre-feet of annual consumptive use from the Upper Colorado River System).

(222) Id. art. III(a)(2) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)).

(223) Id.

(224) Decree, 547 U.S. 150, 155 sec. II(B) (2006).

(225) Id. sec. II(B)(1).

(226) Id. sec. II(B)(2)-(3).

(227) See id. sec. II(B)(2).

(228) Id. sec. II(B)(6).

(229) See Offstream Storage of Colorado River Water and Development and Release of Intentionally Created Unused Apportionment in the Lower Division States, 43 C.F.R. [section] 414.1 (2011).

(230) The intentionally created surplus (ICS) program was established by the 2007 Interim Guidelines. See supra note 12 and accompanying text. The provisions defining the ICS program are contained in [section] XI.G.3 of the Record of Decision for the Guidelines. INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD, supra note 12, [section] XI.G.3.

(231) 43 C.F.R. [section] 414.3 (2011) (discussing storage and interstate release agreements formed in conjunction with the Lower Basin water banking program); INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD, supra note 12, [section][section] XI.A.1, XI.F.11, XI.F.15, XI.G.3.C (discussing the delivery and forbearance agreements associated with delivery of intentionally created surplus, defining delivery agreements, and defining forbearance agreements).

(232) Colorado River Compact, art. V(a)-(b) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(233) HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at 27-28. This broad construction of Article V differs from narrower ones given by compact negotiators. See, e.g., Report of Delph E. Carpenter, Commissioner for Colorado (December 15, 1923), in HOOVER DAM DOCUMENTS, supra note 35, at A79 (1945) ("Records of the river flow at Lee Ferry are under the control of the State Engineers of the seven States and two representatives of the United States, but the authority of such officials terminates with the ascertainment and publication of the facts.").

(234) Colorado River Compact, art. VI (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-61-101 (2012)).

(235) See Colorado River Basin Project Act, [section] 601(b)(1), 43 U.S.C. [section] 1551(b)(1) (2006) (requiring Secretary of Interior to consult with the Upper Colorado River Commission and Lower Basin states while preparing five-year reports that account for annual consumptive uses and losses on the mainstem and major tributaries of the Colorado River System); id. [section] 602Co), 43 U.S.C. [section] 1552(lo) (requiring consultation between the Secretary of Interior and basin state representatives in relation to the modification of long-range operating criteria for Colorado River reservoirs); Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992, Pub. L. 102-575, [section] 1804(c), 106 Stat. 4671 (requiring consultation between the Secretary of Interior, Governors of basin states, and various parties within the general public during the preparation of operating criteria and plans set forth in this section and section 602(b) of the Colorado River Basin Project Act); Id [section] 1805(c) (requiring consultation between the Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Energy, Governors of basin states, Indian tribes, and various parties within the general public in relation to monitoring programs aimed at ensuring compliance with the section 1802(a) mandate); 43 C.F.R. [section] 414.3(c) (2011) (requiring the Secretary of Interior to provide a means for public input on proposed storage and interstate release agreements and prescribing criteria for secretarial review of agreements); id.[section] 414.3(g) (requiring the Secretary of Interior to consult with the International Boundary and Water Commission prior to executing Storage and Interstate Release Agreements); INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD, supra note 12, [section] XI.G.7 (providing for consultation between the Secretary of Interior and basin states on a wide range of matters associated with implementation of the Interim Guidelines).

(236) See U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29, arts. 12(d), 24(f), T.S. 944 at 26 (authorizing the International Boundary and Water Commission to measure flows and water deliveries so as to ensure treaty compliance); Upper Basin Compact, art. VIII(d), Pub. L. 81-37, 63 Stat. 31 (1949) (codified at COLO. REV. STAT. [section] 37-62-101 (2012)) (authorizing the Upper Colorado River Commission to engage in water gauging; collect data on flows, storage, diversions, and use; make findings on use, reservoir losses, deliveries, and necessary curtailments; and issue annual reports of activities).

(237) See U.S.-Mexico Treaty, supra note 29, art. 24(g), T.S. 944 at 44 (requiring the International Boundary and Water Commission to submit annual (and other) reports regarding treaty matters); Decree, 547 U.S. 150, 164 sec. V (2006) (requiring the United States to prepare and make available records of various matters related to the use of mainstem water in the Lower Basin, including releases from federal facilities, mainstem diversions, return flows, consumptive use levels, and deliveries to Mexico); Colorado River Basin Project Act, [section] 601Co)(1), 43 U.S.C. [section] 1551(b)(1) (2006) (requiring the Secretary of Interior to prepare five-year reports accounting for annual consumptive uses and losses on mainstem and major tributaries of the Colorado River System); id. [section] 602(b), 43 U.S.C. [section] 1552(b) (requiring the Secretary of Interior to prepare an annual operating plan for all Colorado River reservoirs); Grand Canyon Protection Act, [section] 1804(c)(2) (requiring the Secretary of Interior to submit annual reports addressing operations conducted in the previous year and operations projected for the upcoming year).

(238) See 43 C.F.R. [section] 414.4(b) (2011) (establishing accounting methods to be used by Secretary of Interior for water stored, diverted, or released in conjunction with storage and interstate release agreements); INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD, supra note 12, [section] XI.G.3.D (outlining the Secretary of Interior's procedures for accounting for, and verifying the creation and delivery of, Intentionally Created Surplus).

(239) See, e.g., MacDonnell, supra note 7, at 50-54 (noting the absence of a basinwide governance institution). For an enlightening discussion of governance issues in the basin, see id. at 50-64.

(240) See id. at 50 (noting that the Colorado River Compact does not create an interstate commission); Paul L. Bloom, Law of the River: Critique of an Extraordinary Legal System, in NEW COURSES FOR THE COLORADO RIVER: MAJOR ISSUES FOR THE NEXT CENTURY 139, 143 (Gary D. Weatherford & F. Lee Brown eds., 1986) (noting the absence of a "seven-state Colorado Commission").

(241) The potential design of a regional commission--or other governance structure--for the Colorado River has been addressed by many authors, including Getches, supra note 91; Douglas S. Kenney, Institutional Options for the Colorado River, 31 WATER RESOURCES BULL. 837 (1995); and Bloom, supra note 240, at 143, 153-154.

(242) The governance entity of course could go far beyond performing these two functions, including serving as a venue for consensus-based innovations to the apportionment scheme (including flexibility-oriented measures).

(243) A formal agreement reached by the Basin States in conjunction with formation of the Interim Guidelines in 2007 (Basin States' Agreement) evidences the states' common interest in resolving interpretive disputes involving the Compact outside of the Supreme Court. This Agreement obligates the states to engage in mandatory consultation before initiating any judicial or achninistrative proceeding involving interpretation of Article III(a)-(e) of the Compact. A copy of the Basin States' Agreement is included as Attachment A to: Letter from the Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming Governors' Representatives on Colorado River Operations, to Hon. Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior (Apr. 23, 2007), available at http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/strategies/DEIScomments/State/ BasinStates.pdf. See also INTERIM GUIDELINES ROD, supra note 12, at [section] XI.G.7.B.2 (providing for consultation between the Secretary of the Interior and the Basin States' Governors or representatives in relation to claims or controversies arising under the Interim Guidelines and other federal law). It admittedly remains to be seen whether the creation of a formal governance entity would facilitate resolution of the existing interpretive disputes--for example, what the processes prescribed for dispute resolution within the entity would look like, or whether the basin states actually would agree to engage in these processes in lieu of litigation for different types of disputes. Our purpose in highlighting the potential value of a formal governance entity is not to examine these (and related) matters in detail here, but rather to call for them to be given due consideration in ongoing discourse about Colorado River governance.

(244) See STATUS REPORT, supra note l, at SR-31 to SR-32 (noting methodological issues).

(245) See supra Parts IV.B. 1.a, V.A.1.

(246) See supra Part IV.B. 1.b.

(247) See supra Part IV.B.I.b.

(248) In addition to the interpretive disputes discussed above in Part II.B, we reiterate that a standardized method for measuring "beneficial consumptive use" within the meaning of Article III(a) and (b) does not yet exist. See supra note 61 and accompanying text. Nor is there a standardized date by which to determine the existence of "present perfected rights" as that term appears in Article VIII. See supra note 75 and accompanying text.

(249) See STATUS REPORT, supra note 1, at SR-4 fig.1 (identifying margin between average water supply and use levels in basin, excluding the Gila River, over a 103-year historical record).

BY JASON A. ROBISON & DOUGLAS S. KENNEY *

* Mr. Robison is a Visiting Fellow at the Colorado River Governance Initiative and a Dissertation Fellow at the Water Security Initiative at Harvard University. Dr. Kenney is the Director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado Law School. We would like to thank Robert Adler, Jody Freeman, Richard Lazarus, John Leshy, Larry MacDonnell, Dan McCool, and Joseph Singer for their comments on the ideas framing this Article. We also acknowledge our gratitude to the late David Getches, a champion both of equity and the Colorado River, and a CRGI co-founder. The tireless efforts and exceptional work of CRGI research assistants affiliated with this project is acknowledged in citations throughout the piece. Any errors and omissions are solely our own.
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Title Annotation:V. Realizing Equity through VI. Conclusion, with footnotes, p. 1192-1209
Author:Robison, Jason A.; Kenney, Douglas S.
Publication:Environmental Law
Date:Sep 22, 2012
Words:18446
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