Colorado River Water Use Highlights:

Utah Colorado River Water Use:

From the 2019 Annual Report - View Full Report Here ⟶

Nation’s Fastest Growing State Focused on Water Conservation and Development

Utah was the nation’s fastest growing state this decade, with a population increasing nearly 15 percent since 2010.1 The state is also one of the nation’s top five performers in job growth,2 economy,2 business climate3 and quality of life.4 Utah’s thriving population and economy is founded on its safe, reliable water supply.

To meet increasing demands, the state has projects underway to maximize the use and further develop its available water supplies, including the Colorado River. Utah is currently using approximately 70% of its annual reliable supply of Colorado River water.

Conservation and Drought

Utah has reduced its municipal and industrial water use nearly 20 percent between 2000 and 2015. The state is in the process of developing new regional conservation goals and is involved in conservation pilot programs, drought planning and demand management.

Tribal Reserved Water Right Settlements

Utah and the Navajo Nation are working cooperatively on a negotiated settlement that was introduced in Congress in 2017. A federal negotiating team has been engaged in evaluating the settlement proposal ahead of anticipated hearings on the bill and addressing congressional pre-conditions to hearing. The state is also working on settlements with the Ute Indian Tribe. Combined, the settlements are anticipated to deliver nearly 190,000 acre feet of water annually.


To provide a secure, long-term water resource for Southern Utah—the state’s fastest growing and driest region—state legislature passed the Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act in 2006. Environmental work is well underway on the 140-mile pipeline that will deliver approximately 86,000 acre-feet of water annually. Recent project modifications, including the elimination of a peaking hydropower plant, reduced the project’s environmental footprint and costs while streamlining the permitting process. This change removed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s license requirement and shifts the lead agency role to the Bureau of Reclamation. The adjusted timeline and steps required to complete the National Environmental Policy Act requirements are comparable to the current schedule available on LPPUtah.org.

1Utah ranks No. 1 for population growth this decade, Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 20, 2018: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/12/19/ utah-ranks-no-population/

2US News, Economy Rankings, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/economy

3Forbes.com, Best States for Business, 2019: https://www.forbes.com/best-states-for-business/list/

4World Population Review, Quality of Life by State 2019: http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/quality-of-life-by-state/