The Compact includes the following points:

  • Economic development will be fostered through sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.

  • In general, there will be a ban on new diversions of water from the Basin but limited exceptions could be allowed in communities near the Basin when rigorous standards are met.

  • Communities that apply for an exception will have a clear, predictable decision making process; standards to be met; and, opportunities to appeal decisions. These processes and standards do not exist under current law.

  • The States will use a consistent standard to review proposed uses of Basin water. The States will have flexibility regarding their water management programs and how to apply this standard.

  • Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years. Each State will develop and implement a water conservation and efficiency program that may be voluntary or mandatory.

  • A broad, bi-partisan consensus has been built in support of the Compact. The Compact was developed in collaboration with regional partners who have also played a key role in its implementation. Members of Congress, Mayors, local government officials and stakeholders have all been instrumental.