Management of the Colorado River: Water Allocations, Drought, and the Federal Role [Updated September 7, 2022] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "From its headwaters in Colorado and Wyoming to its terminus in the Gulf of California, the Colorado River Basin covers more than 246,000 square miles. The river runs through seven U.S. states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California) and Mexico. Pursuant to federal law, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation, part of the Department of the Interior [DOI]) plays a prominent role in the management of the basin's waters. In the Lower Basin (i.e., Arizona, Nevada, and California), Reclamation also serves as 'water master' on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, a role that elevates the status of the federal government in basin water management. The federal role in the management of Colorado River water is magnified by the multiple federally owned and operated water storage and conveyance facilities in the basin, which provide low-cost water and hydropower supplies to water users. [...] This report provides background on management of the Colorado River, with a focus on recent developments. It also discusses the congressional role in the management of basin waters."
CRS Report for Congress, R45546
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/