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Water Resources

Salinity Program

Colorado River Basin Salinity Program

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974 established a program to control salinity concentrations in the Colorado River and its tributaries. The Colorado River provides water to more than 30 million people and irrigation water to nearly 4 million acres of land in seven western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Excessive salinity is a major concern to western water users because it increases water treatment and disposal costs; reduces the effective life of water pipes, pumps, fixtures, and household appliances; decreases crop productivity; and limits the type of crops that can be grown.

The BLM is committed to reducing salinity concentrations in the Colorado River where it is sourced from public lands, as required by amendments to the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act and mission mandates under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. The BLM's primary strategy for reducing salt transport to the Colorado River is to minimize erosion from public lands through its existing land management policies and practices. Many land-use activities, such as livestock grazing, energy development, mining, recreation, timber production, utility transmission, and road management, increase erosion and sediment transport. The BLM attempts to reduce these impacts by using best management practices; incorporating terms, conditions, and stipulations in land-use authorizations; and requiring actions to restore lands upon completion of authorized activities. The BLM also engages in many activities to restore degraded ecosystems that contribute excessive sediment and salts to Colorado River Basin watersheds. These activities include constructing and maintaining grade-control structures, spreader dikes, and retention structures; participating in emergency stabilization and rehabilitation efforts after wildfires; removing invasive plant species; conducting channel stabilization and other riparian enhancements; maintaining road culverts; remediating abandoned mine lands; and conducting fire fuels reduction treatments.

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator at the National Operations Center (NOC) supports work conducted in BLM state and field offices, provides program support to the BLM Washington Office, interacts with other federal agencies that have salinity control programs (such as the Bureau of Reclamation and the Natural Resources Conservation Service), and collaborates with state governments and regional water resource management agencies.

Primary Customers

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator assists BLM state and field offices, the BLM Washington Office, other federal agencies with salinity control programs, state governments, and water resource management agencies

Services provided by the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator

  • Works with BLM state offices to identify and prioritize projects and activities that meet salinity program goals and objectives
     
  • develops recommendations for the BLM Washington Office for allocating funds to priority projects and activities.
     
  • Develops and promotes consistent and technically defensible protocols needed to quantify salinity reductions achieved through projects and management actions.
     
  • Coordinates and communicates with salinity control program coordinators and managers from other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Reclamation and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
     
  • Represents the BLM in meetings with the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum (an executive oversite group composed of state government and regional agencies), the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Advisory Council (an advisory committee to federal agencies), and related work groups and committees.
     
  • Compiles information from states on salinity control projects and activities needed to prepare mandated annual Federal Accomplishment Reports for the Advisory Council, periodic reports to Congress, and other related documents
National Perspective

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator promotes a uniform perspective for seven state offices responsible for implementing and managing salinity control activities. The coordinator ensures BLM state offices use consistent, technically defensible protocols for quantifying salinity reductions achieved through projects and management actions. The coordinator interacts with other NOC resource specialists in related disciplines as needed to provide additional support to state offices to improve effectiveness and efficiency of salinity control projects. Also, the coordinator can conduct or coordinate assessments across state and administrative office boundaries. The coordinator also disseminates knowledge and scientific products to state and field office managers to promote more informed decisionmaking.

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Coordinator Contact Information:

Cole Rossi
email:crossi@blm.gov
Phone: 801-539-4028


Topics
Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment
·Water Quality
·Water Quantity
Resource Use and Management
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Salinity Program
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