Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act Law and Legal Definition

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act is a U.S. federal law that provides for construction of facilities to control the salinity of the Colorado River. The Act also authorizes activities for mitigation of fish and wildlife loss. This Act was signed into law on June 24, 1974. The provisions of the Act are found under 43 U.S.C. §§ 1571 through 1599.

Pursuant to the Act, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is required to proceed with a program to enhance and protect the water quality of the Colorado River, in compliance with the obligations of a 1973 agreement with Mexico, including construction and operation of a desalinization complex. The Act requires the Secretary to complete studies to identify adequate replacement water for the mitigation of fish and wildlife losses by 1980.

The Act also authorizes the Secretary to acquire and dispose of land, and may construct, operate and dispose of facilities to mitigate loss of fish and wildlife habitat. The Act makes provisions to provide funds for these mitigation efforts in specific geographic areas.

Additionally, the Act requires the Secretary to use measures to replace or mitigate incidental fish and wildlife values foregone with the construction of salinity control units and the implementation of a basinwide salinity control program. The Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out salinity control measures in the Colorado River Basin as part of the environmental quality incentives program established by the Food Security Act.