System Conservation Pilot Program

Opportunity: 2023 System Conservation Pilot Program

Upper Colorado River Commission & Colorado River Authority of Utah

Proposals due Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Submit Proposals, View Request for Proposals, Past Projects, and Template for System Conservation Implementation Agreement on Upper Colorado River Commission Website

Region-Specific Information Sessions (weather permitting, possible shift to virtual sessions):

  • Virtually on Friday, January 6th, 2023, view recording:

  • Price In-Person: Tuesday, January 10th, 4-6 pm, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Southeastern Region Office – Conference Room, 319 N Carbonville Rd, Price, UT 84501
  • Roosevelt In-Person (weather permitting, possible shift to virtual session): Thursday, January 12th, 4-6 pm, Utah State University Roosevelt Campus – Multipurpose Room, 987 E. Lagoon St, Roosevelt, UT 84066

pdf 20230105 SCPP 1Page (138 KB)

pdf 20230106 SCPP InfoSessions Pres (811 KB)

  • Contact Lily Bosworth , 801-824-9037) with questions.

What is the System Conservation Pilot Program?

The System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) supports projects that reduce water consumption in the Colorado River System through temporary, voluntary, and compensated water conservation actions in 2023. Projects are based on individual needs of water users and typically involve full or partial season fallowing or implementation of operational changes that result in a quantifiable consumptive use. Compensation for participating is calculated from the amount of consumptive water use savings compared to previous years. SCPP is funded through a portion of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 allotted to the Bureau of Reclamation and is administered by the Upper Colorado River Commission and the Colorado River Authority of Utah.

Why participate? 

SCPP is a voluntary program that compensates water users to reduce water use temporarily. It allows farmers and other water users to be part of the solution for sustainable water use in the Colorado River system without losing their water rights or livelihoods. This is not a “buy and dry” program intended to push people out of agriculture. Instead, the program provides water users with another tool to add additional value and stability to their operations.

Will my water be subject to abandonment?

Utah Code (73-1-4(2)(e)(ii)) provides that forfeiture and abandonment do not apply to a water right if its place of use is contracted under an approved state agreement or federal conservation fallowing program, like SCPP.

How will SCPP function for water users?

Water users who are interested in participating would temporarily reduce consumption of historically beneficially used water and lease conserved water to the SCPP program through a contract with the Upper Colorado River Commission.  The Colorado River Authority of Utah will work with the Upper Colorado River Commission and applicants throughout the submittal, review, and approval process. Applicants are allowed to work with agents for additional support in the project design and application process if they desire.