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Colorado River Water Standards

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum (CRBSCF) recently reviewed the current water quality standards for the Colorado River and developed a plan aimed at reducing the amount of salts entering the river.

One specific strategy identified to prevent salts from entering the Colorado River system is to improve irrigation water effectiveness, which reduces irrigation runoff. Additional strategies include erosion control and improved regulation of municipal and industrial discharges.

"The 2005 review identifies a plan of implementation to prevent salinity from rising above the historic levels," said Larry Anderson, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. "There is almost an unlimited supply of salts in marine shale found in the Upper Colorado River Basin."

Dissolved salts enter the Colorado River in Utah from natural springs, agricultural irrigation runoff, municipal and industrial discharge. Downstream, these salts can cause the salting of agricultural lands, increased water treatment costs and violation of water quality standards that could result in restricted Colorado River water use for Utah.

The draft 2005 review can be found online at Hard copies of the draft review can be obtained by calling 801-292-4663 or writing the CRBSCF office at 106 West 500 South, Suite 101, Bountiful, UT 84010.

Individuals with comments must submit them by noon, Aug. 26.

Comments can be sent via e-mail to, mailed to the CRBSCF or hand delivered to their office.

The CRBSCF will review all comments and respond to those comments in the final 2005 review.

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