GIS Mapping

Water governance in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) is complex. The water governance landscape is composed of multiple organizations, intricate arrangements, and the norms and behaviors of actors who have a stake in the use, management and development of water resources. This objective develops geospatial layers for multi-level, multi-purpose water governance with a specific focus on agricultural water. In the CRB, an estimated 75-80% of water is allocated for agriculture.

  Ag Water Governance Interactive Map (BETA Version)     Map Instructions
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The geospatial database is a collection of boundaries that describe jurisdictions at the federal, state and local level responsible for agricultural water management and governance in the CRB. The data is organized by basin (Upper and Lower Basin) and by state. The data in the geodatabase has been collected from many sources including: the satellite offices of the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) of the Colorado River Region; the USGS National Hydrology Dataset; the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; the Colorado River Water Conservancy District; the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District; the Redlands Institute; The Nature Conservancy; the West Divide Water Conservancy District.

The Ag Water Governance dataset is not comprehensive and only represents a small number of agricultural water supply organizations in the basin. Although the data in the geodatabase is projected in North America Albers Equal Area Conic projection, the data was collected by different people, serving different purposes. Some data were projected while other data were not, causing minor discrepancies between boundaries.

Click HERE to access Sharing Water Across Boundaries in the Colorado River Basin: Mapping Agricultural Policies, Data, and Perspectives


The development of the Agricultural Water Colorado River Basin Governance Geodatabase can be credited to Faith Sternlieb, PhD Candidate of the Geosciences Department of Colorado State University and Dr. Melinda Laituri, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Funding was provided from the Environmental Defense Fund and the USDA Planning Grant, Addressing Ag Water in the Colorado River Basin through the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University.