Rep. John Curtis introduces bill to help reduce salt levels in Colorado River

Jun 4, 2024, 12:00 PM

The Colorado River runs through Dead Horse Point State Park on a cloudy day....

The Colorado River is pictured near Dead Horse Point State Park in Grand County on Friday, April 26, 2024. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Congressman John Curtis has introduced a new bill to help limit how much salt finds its way into the Colorado River.

In May, Curtis presented his bill to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries.

He told committee members ancient seas that once covered much of the west left behind saline rock formations When the water brushes up against those rock formations, it dissolves the salt. Then, the salt ends up in the river.

“Excessive salt in our rivers can damage sites in Utah’s iconic national parks, limit available drinking water…and tarnish the water that ranchers use to feed the rest of the country,” Curtis said.

Curtis’ bill would enhance the Salinity Control Program, which has worked to reduce salinity levels in river for decades.

According to a news release from Curtis’ office, the Washington County Water Conservancy District and the Colorado River Authority of Utah have supported the bill. 

About the Colorado River

The Colorado River is one of the most important freshwater resources in the western United States. It provides drinking and irrigation water to 40 million people in seven states. 

Utah has rights to just over 11% of the river’s allocated water. Alone, it provides more than a quarter of Utah’s total water supply.

Related: Invasive tamarisk tree sprouting more roots along Virgin, Colorado rivers 




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Rep. John Curtis introduces bill to help reduce salt levels in Colorado River