NOTICE: Opportunity for public comment on the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum’s 2023 Triennial Review

From the State Water Resources Control Board:

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum (“Forum”) is accepting public comments on the draft “2023 Review, Water Quality Standards for Salinity, Colorado River System,” which the Forum approved to be released for public comment at its June 2023 meeting.

In 1973, the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming (referred to as the seven basin states) established the Forum. The Forum was tasked with interstate cooperation and providing the states with the necessary information to comply with the federal Clean Water Act. The Forum proposed salinity standards for the Colorado River and a plan of implementation designed to achieve the objectives in 1975. These standards were then adopted by the states and subsequently approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. California’s Water Quality Control Plan for the Colorado River Basin includes the same salinity water quality standards and program of implementation.

Section 303(c) of the federal Clean Water Act requires that water quality standards be reviewed at least once every three years and revised as appropriate. The water quality standards for salinity control in the Colorado River consist of two components: the numeric criteria (referred to as water quality objectives in California) and the plan of implementation. No changes have been made to the numeric criteria since their adoption by the seven basin states in 1975 and subsequent approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Following their 2023 triennial review process, the Forum again concludes that the numeric criteria are appropriate and recommends no changes. The Forum also finds that the plan of implementation is adequate for maintaining salinity concentrations below the numeric criteria through 2026, thus providing significant benefits to the Colorado River Basin. These findings and conclusions are analyzed in the Forum’s draft report, titled, “2023 Review, Water Quality Standards for Salinity, Colorado River System.”

Written comments from the public and interested parties on the Forum’s report will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. on September 15, 2023.

Written comments can be submitted electronically to the Forum in care of Don Barnett at Please indicate in the subject line: “Comment Letter – The Forum’s 2023 Colorado River Salinity Standard Triennial Review.”

Alternatively, written comments may be submitted by mail to:

Emma McCorkle
California Regional Water Quality Control Board
Colorado River Basin Region
73-720 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 100, Palm Desert, CA 92260

The report titled “2023 Review–Water Quality Standards for Salinity–Colorado River System” is available on the Forum’s website at:


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