Water used for agriculture in the Colorado River Basin and the western United States is increasingly seen as a potential supply for growing urban and environ-mental needs. In 2008, the Western Governors' Association, working through their water arm, the Western States Water Council (WSWC), issued Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future: Next Steps. One of the primary steps identified in the report was that…"states, working with interested stakeholders, should identify innovative ways to allow water transfers from agriculture to urban use while avoiding or mitigating damages to agricultural economies and environmental values."
The initiative reported here is a direct effort to answer the western governors' call for action. A diverse Water Sharing Work Group of highly knowledgeable and influential water leaders representing the sectors of agriculture, urban interests, and the environment, set aside parochial positions to collaboratively take on the governors' challenge. This report summarizes the results of that collaborative process.