The Drought Contingency Plan (DCP), signed on May 20, is a milestone in the management of the Colorado River. Developed by the seven Colorado River basin states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming—plus Mexico and passed as federal law, it mandates ambitious, cooperative efforts to increase storage in Lakes Mead and Powell. In this month’sMunicipal Water Leader, we talk to some of the people who played the biggest role in negotiating and passing the DCP.

Our cover interview with Commissioner Brenda Burman of the Bureau of Reclamation, who congratulates the basin states on their accomplishment—but stresses the pivot to implementation that must now occur. Pat Tyrrell, the longtime Wyoming State Engineer, talks to us about the view from
the upper Colorado River basin and the importance of the DCP for avoiding harmful curtailments to Wyoming water users. John Entsminger, the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), tells us about his agency’s distinct relationship to the Colorado River—it is highly dependent on the Colorado to supply the state’s biggest population centers. Tom Buschatzke, the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, walks us through the process by which his state developed its negotiating position and explains how the DCP interacts with Arizona’s preexisting conservation efforts. Finally, we speak with Jeff Kightlinger, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, about the significance of the DCP for Southern California and the actions his agency is already taking.

While a great leap forward has been made on the Colorado, water technology companies are keeping up their incremental march towards ever-more-sophisticated water management. Matt Rose, the chief executive officer of APANA, tells us in this issue about his company’s low-power, wide-area radio and Internet of things technologies, which allow it to carefully monitor water use across multiple buildings—or even across an entire city. Trevor Vale of Diligent tells us about his company’s digital corporate governance platform—which will be of interest to any organization that has a board of directors.

The significance of the DCP cannot be overstated. It is an example of cooperation and success that should be studied and emulated by water managers across the United States. I hope that the interviews in this month’s issue of Municipal Water Leader will help you do just that.

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader and Irrigation Leader magazines. He is also president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations, marketing, and publishing company he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at