An elaborate and nested legal framework, with both interstate and intrastate components, governs the allocation and management of Colorado River water within Southern California. This framework has evolved for nearly a century, and this paper chronicles major milestones in this evolution. The narrative is framed with the formation of the Colorado River Compact in 1922 as a front bookend, and the adoption of the Quantification Settlement Agreement and the Interim Shortage Guidelines in 2003 and 2007, respectively, as back bookends. Reflections on the iterative and provisional nature of the evolutionary process, and Southern California's relative degree of water security resulting from it, appear in the conclusion.
|Colorado River Basin graph, 1922|
courtesy of the Honorable Greg Hobbs Collection