Record level- Abstract: Traditional water policy in the Colorado River Basin has been under stress as new issues of water quality and energy development has arisen. Increasing salinity, demands from Mexico for improvements in the quality of water it receives from the basin, and 1972 water quality legislation have imposed new burdens on the decision-making system. The national demand for energy has lead to competition for scarce water supplies and has threatened the existing pattern of resource use and style of living. The western state publics and their leaders appear to accept energy development but fear the consequences both for the environment and for their communities. The traditional politics of water-development policy remains a strong feature of present decision-making, but there are significant weaknesses in orientation and focus.There exists numerous organizations in the Rocky Mountain states and the Colorado River Basin that provide leadership and mobilize interests, but these organizations must be strengthened in order to meet the present political, environmental, and social challenges.