Skip to main content


Go Search
Loans & Grants
Water Management
Technical Resources
Public Information
About Us
Home > Frequently Asked Questions > Interstate Compact Definition  

Frequently Asked Questions: Interstate Compact Definition


Interstate Compact Definition 

Program Area


Specific Program


CWCB Section

Interstate & Federal 


What is a Compact?


Simply stated, a water compact is a binding legal agreement between two or more states, that defines how water is shared between them. Under the US Constitution, Congress must approve all interstate compacts, and each state legislature also approves them, making compacts both federal and state law, enforceable against all water users in those states. Another way of dividing shared water resources between two or more states is by an Equitable Apportionment Decree. Such a decree is issued by the US Supreme Court when the states for one reason or another have failed to reach the voluntary agreements that result in a compact. Apportionment decrees are binding on the states that appear in the Supreme Court case and all water users within those states and are enforceable as federal law.
Created at 6/26/2010 9:24 AM  by System Account 
Last modified at 6/26/2010 9:30 AM  by System Account