Erica Porvaznik

Document Type


Publication Title

Northern Illinois University Law Review


While equitable division of water supplied by the Colorado River has been dictated by the Colorado River Compact for over one hundred years, this agreement has only served to create an inequal, power dynamic amongst all the states and parties to the Compact.

The current provisions controlling the apportionment and usage of the water are set to expire in 2026. Therefore, there is a path forward for the water to be divided in a new way, specifically, by Congress. I argue that Congress should assume authority over the Colorado River and apportion the water under their Commerce Clause power, as Congress has the sole ability to regulate commerce amongst states, foreign nations, and tribes. Though this provision was not used to originally allocate the water from the river, it is imperative that it is relied upon for any future apportionment in order to prevent any one state from monopolizing a share of the river’s water.

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College of Law



Suggested Citation

Erica Porvaznik, Renegotiating the Colorado River Compact: How a One Size Fits All Approach Has Led to a State Centric Future, and How the Commerce Clause Can Solve It, 43 N. Ill. Univ. L. Rev. 120 (2023).

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