Document Type

Report

Publication Date

3-2006

Abstract

The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (Secretary) proposes to take action to adopt specific Colorado River Lower Basin shortage guidelines and coordinated reservoir management strategies to address operations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead, particularly under low reservoir conditions. This proposed Action will provide a greater degree of certainty to all water users and managers in the Colorado River Basin by providing more detailed guidelines for the operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead and by allowing water users in the Lower Basin to know when, and by how much, water deliveries will be reduced during drought and low reservoir conditions. In addition, this proposed Action is designed to delay the onset and magnitude of shortages and will maximize the protection afforded to water supply, hydropower production, recreation and environmental benefits by water storage in Lakes Powell and Mead. Reclamation has determined that the proposed adoption of specific Colorado River Lower Basin shortage guidelines and coordinated reservoir management strategies is a major federal action with the potential to significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and therefore, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed Action. One of the activities associated with preparation of an EIS is the solicitation and review of public, tribal, and agency input as a component of the identification and analysis of alternatives and potential environmental impacts. This process of determining the key environmental issues to be addressed in the EIS document is termed “scoping.”