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Water Law - State Resources

Interstate Agreements and Boundary Issues

Digest of Federal Resource Laws: Interstate Compacts, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (current through January 2013)

Interstate Compacts: An Overview of the Structure and Governance of Environment and Natural Resource Compacts, U.S. Government Accountability Office, May 2007

Interstate Water Agreements of the United States, International Water Law Project

U.S. Interstate Freshwater Compacts Database, Oregon State University - NOT CURRENT, but a good source of historical data

Utton Transboundary Resources Center, University of New Mexico School of Law

State-Specific Resources

Colorado's River Compacts, Colorado State University Libraries

A Summary of Compacts and Litigation Governing Colorado's Use of Interstate Streams, Colorado Division of Water Resources (2006)

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers

Great Lakes Compact Resources, University of Wisconsin Law Library

Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

Compacts, Decrees and Interstate Agreements, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

John Whipple & Estevan Lopez, "New Mexico's Experience With Interstate Water Agreements", New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, October 2005

Oklahoma Interstate Stream Compacts, Oklahoma Water Resources Board

Utah Compacts and Agreements, Utah Division of Water Rights

Wyoming Interstate Water Compacts, Wyoming State Engineer's Office

Texas Resources

For more information about Texas interstate compacts, see the Guide to Texas Water Law.

Canadian River Compact (1950)

Text of the Canadian River Compact

Texas Water Code ch. 43, Canadian River Compact

Canadian River Compact Commission

Colorado River Compact (1922)

Text of the Colorado River Compact

The Law of the River, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Colorado River Resources, Bill Lane Center for the American West, 2012

"Where the River Runs Dry: The Colorado and America's water crisis", The New Yorker, May 25, 2015

Red River Compact (1978)

Texas Water Code ch. 46, Red River Compact

Red River Compact Commission

Red River Compact Commission 2013 Annual Report

Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, 133 S.Ct. 2120 (2013)

Rio Grande Compact (1938)

Text of the Rio Grande Compact

Texas Water Code ch. 41, Rio Grande Compact

Rio Grande Compact Commission

Reports of the Rio Grande Compact Commission, 1939-2013

Calendar Year 2014 Report to the Rio Grande Compact Commission, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, June 2015

Raymond A. Hill, "Development of the Rio Grande Compact of 1938", 14 Nat. Resources J. 163 (1974)

Dianniah M. Chahin, "Is the Once Mighty River Not So Mighty: How the Distribution of Water Rights and Water Planning Along the Texas Portion of the Rio Grande River Affects Future Texans," 6 Tex. Tech. J. Tex. Admin. L. 115 (2005)

"Texas vs. New Mexico: the Water War", U.S. Water Alliance, February 2013

"Mighty Rio Grande Now a Trickle Under Seige", New York Times, April 12, 2015

Pecos River Compact (1948)

Text of the Pecos River Compact

Texas Water Code ch. 42, Pecos River Compact

Pecos River Compact Commission

Sabine River Compact (1953)

Texas Water Code ch. 44, Sabine River Compact

Sabine River Compact Commission


Sherk, George William, Dividing the waters: the resolution of interstate water conflicts in the United States, Kluwer Law International, 2000

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF5575 .S54 2000

Tyler, Daniel, Silver fox of the Rockies: Delphus E. Carpenter and western water compacts, University of Oklahoma Press, 2003

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF373 .C37164 T95 2003

Zimmerman, Joseph Francis, Interstate water compacts: intergovernmental efforts to manage America's water resources, State University of New York Press, 2012

  • Available in the Dee J. Kelly Law Library at call number KF5569 .Z54 2012


This list is a small sample of relevant articles and should not be considered a comprehensive bibliography.

Robert W. Adler, "Revisiting the Colorado River Compact: Time for a Change", 28 J. Land Resources & Envtl. L. 19 (2008)

Jeffery Uhlman Beaverstock, "Learning to Get Along: Alabama, Georgia, Florida and the Chattahoochee River Compact", 49 Ala. L. Rev. 993 (1997-1998)

David N. Copas Jr., "The Southeastern Water Compact, Panacea or Pandora's Box? A Law and Economics Analysis of the Viability of Interstate Water Compacts", 21 Wm. & Mary. Envtl. L. & Pol'y Rev. 697 (1997)

Rick L. Gold, "Dividing the Pie - Dealing with Surplus and Drought: Examining the Colorado River Compact of 1922", 28 J. Land Resources & Envtl. L. 71 (2008)

Noah D. Hall, "Interstate Water Compacts and Climate Change Adaptation", 5 Envtl. & Energy L. & Pol'y J. 237 (2010)

Hilary T. Jacobs, "When the River Dries up, the Compact Need Not Wither Away: Amending Interstate Water Compacts to Ensure Long-Term Viability", 73 MD L. Rev. Endnotes 96 (2014)

Kenneth W. Knox, "The La Plata River Compact: Administration of an Ephemeral River in the Arid Southwest", 5 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 104 (2001-2002)

Patricia Mulroy, "Collaboration and the Colorado River Compact", 8 Nev. L.J. 890 (2007-2008)

Edella Schlager & Tanya Heikkila, "Resolving Water Conflicts: A Comparative Analysis of Interstate River Compacts", 37 The Policy Studies Journal 367 (2009)

Jason A. Robison & Lawrence J. MacDonnell, "Arizona v. California & the Colorado River Compact: Fifty Years Ago, Fifty Years Ahead", 4 Ariz. J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 130 (2013-2014)

George William Sherk, "The Management of Interstate Water Conflicts in the Twenty-First Century: Is it Time to Call Uncle?", 12 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 764 (2003-2005)