Table 3. Institutional capacity issues in the Rio Chama case study.

Class I  Class II  Class III  Class IV  Class V  Class VI 

Interstate compact obligations under Rio Grande Compact
If no additional storage in El Vado necessary, no problem If additional El Vado storage necessary, deviations from Compact sought; National Environmental Policy Act and tribal consultation likely required Changes to Compact itself

Water allocation regimes (prior appropriation) and associated water delivery requirements under state water law
Changes to timing of water deliveries for flow optimization in a way that does not injure water rights or harm public interest Changes to state statutes implementing allocation system and management of water Constitutional change to water allocation away from prior appropriation doctrine

Storage authority at Abiquiu
Legally no obstacles, but storage will have to be within existing easement authorizations, and landowner education and outreach is important

End of year deliveries of water under San Juan-Chama Diversion Project —beyond Jan 1st
Must scout! Waiver from project delivery obligations may be required, including demonstration of federal interest

Changes in hydro power operations
If changes in project operations were assessed in previous National Environmental Policy Act documents, only cursory environmental documentation required, i.e., an environmental assessment If Optimization Project results in a change in policy, supplemental National Environmental Policy Act in the form of a New Environmental Impact Statement likely needed