Skip to content Skip to footer

How is GBWN Tracking The Colorado River Basin Lithium Rush


The lithium rush is coming to the Colorado and Green Rivers. And we are engaging in the regulatory realm, responding as corporations file for permits in the Utah Division of Water Rights.

Because of our tracking and monitoring of regulatory filings, GBWN has been working with melon farmers and community members in Green River, UT, to help ensure that regulators follow the law when considering efforts to appropriate billions of gallons of water for new lithium mining in the region.

We are at a new precipice, and our expertise in water rights filings gives us the ability to help community members who have corporations knocking at their back doors –– looking for land and water as fast as the markets demand.

GBWN is engaging in the canyon country of Southern Utah with new and old partners to ensure that we get the best protections for existing water rights holders, ecosystems, and the future.

As we have for more than 30 years, we want to ensure regulators are held accountable, communities remain intact, and companies respect the laws of of our country –– as well as the laws of nature.

In the case of the lithium plays unfolding on the Colorado and Green River, an Australian company is is using American LLCs to file for water rights to drill near riverbanks to access deep lithium brines, raising concerns about the connectivity between groundwater and the riverbed.

In Summer of 2023, Anson Resources’ shell companies, A1 Lithium and Blackstone Minerals, filed for water rights on the Colorado River and Green River, respectively.

Of course, we had eyes on it.

With local residents like farmer Gayna Salinas and the group Living Rivers, we have been attending regulatory hearings, submitting detailed comments and raising awareness to educate the public.

GBWN does not oppose lithium mining. But specific policies on those parched river systems require careful and consistent regulatory scrutiny. We wouldn’t want the promise of money and power to cloud the judgment of the State of Utah.

The filings by Anson preceded efforts now unfolding in the Utah Legislature during the 2024 session. By early March 2024, we expect lawmakers to finalize new laws for how companies will profit and manage production in the nation’s second driest state on two of the most over-used rivers in the arid west. See HB 433 and HB 453.

See a few of our regulatory comments that we drafted and follow the stories in the press. Reach out if you have any questions.

Colorado River filings.

Green River filings.

Presentation on Anson Water Rights.

See media in The Land Desk, Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press.


Leave a comment

Great Basin Water Network © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Design by Most Media

Subscribe For Updates!