NRCS Colorado Salinity Information

2013 Colorado River Salinity Control Program

Grand Valley Salinity Closeout

The Colorado River and its tributaries provide municipal and industrial water to about 27 million people and irrigation water to nearly four million acres of land in the United States. The river also serves about 2.3 million people and 500,000 acres in Mexico. The threat of salinity is a major concern in both the Unites States and Mexico. Salinity affects agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users.

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, established in 1974, provided the authorization for enhancing and protecting numerous salinity control projects in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada as well as planning studies in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Wyoming. High levels of salinity in water can reduce crop yields, limit the choice of crops that can be grown, and at higher concentrations over long periods, it can kill trees and make the land unsuitable for agricultural purposes.

Significant salinity control results from the implementation of measures on private agricultural lands. The Bureau of Reclamation's Basin States Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service’s  Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provide cost-share assistance to landowners who install salinity control measures.

Through strong partnerships between NRCS, private landowners, Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado’s State Conservation Board, and numerous local Conservation Districts, financial and technical assistance funds have been used to install irrigation improvements like installation of pipelines, more efficient irrigation systems and lining of ditches and small laterals.

NRCS accepts applications on an ongoing basis. There will be two application periods in 2013. The first application period ended February 15, 2013. The second application period will end April 19, 2013. Interested applicants should contact the local NRCS Field Office for assistance on completing the program application and associated conservation plan development.

2013 Colorado River Salinity Control Program Information

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Complete the application using forms NRCS-CPA-1200, Conservation Program Application and NRCS-CPA-1202, Conservation Program AppendixEn Español. You may complete and print the form online.

Additional information about program can be found at NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.