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Protecting Western Colorado Water

Mission Statement: To lead in the protection, conservation, use, and development of the water resources of the Colorado River basin for the welfare of the District, and to safeguard for Colorado all waters of the Colorado River to which the state is entitled.

Save the Date:
Fri., Sept. 19th
Annual Water Seminar
Two Rivers Convention Center
Grand Junction, CO

Colorado needs a better water plan

Jim Pokrandt, Chairman of the Colorado Basin Roundtable
It's almost time for football training camps, so here's a gridiron analogy for Colorado River water policy watchers: Western Colorado is defending two end zones. One is the Colorado River. The other is agriculture. The West Slope team has to make a big defensive play. If water planning errs on the side of overdeveloping the Colorado River, the river loses, the West Slope economy loses and West Slope agriculture could be on the way out.
-Full article in the Summit Daily-

Colorado River District Signs Resolution Opposing Initiative 89
The Colorado River District opposes Initiative 89 as unwise, unwarranted, and disruptive to the fair and responsible use and allocation of Colorado's scarce resources, and believes Initiative 89 could severely impact Colorado's agricultural economy and culture.
-Resolution Opposing Initiative 89-

Sen. Bennet Hears About Colorado River Conservation Projects Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

"As the headwaters for 20 states, water from the Colorado River is in high demand," Bennet said. "With growing populations across the West and persistent drought conditions, we need to conserve these precious resources to ensure future generations have the water they need. These projects will help sustain the river for all of its uses into the future."
-Full press release-

Colorado Basin Implementation Plan (CBIP) 2nd Draft
What will our water future look like?
The state of Colorado is facing the prospect of significant water supply challenges in the future, and 'basin roundtables' of stakeholders in each of the state's major river basins are developing "basin implementation plans' for how to meet these challenges within their basins. These individual basin plans will serve as input for Colorado's Water Plan, which Governor Hickenlooper has ordered to be completed by December 2015.
To comment please contact Angie Fowler at 
-Full Coverage and Report on website-

Colorado River District Applauds Governor's Veto
The Colorado River District applauds Governor Hickenlooper's decision on June 5 to veto Senate Bill 14-023. As noted in the Governor's veto message, we are certain it was a close and difficult decision. The River District, along with many other parties, requested a veto.

But the issue is not dead. With the veto, the challenge remains for supporters and opponents alike to reconvene to develop new alternatives that provide genuine incentives for irrigation efficiency while avoiding the unintended and adverse consequences of SB023. The River District is committed to this challenge.

The River District worked with Senator Schwartz and others for two years developing legislation to create irrigation efficiency incentives. We succeeded in addressing an important part of the issue in 2013 with the passage of Senate Bill 13-019, which addressed voluntary, consumptive water use savings. We continued our efforts over the summer last year and throughout the legislative session this winter to address the more complex issue of non-consumptive water savings. In the end, we opposed the final approach taken in SB023 as too costly and likely ineffective. The River District, however, is committed to addressing the challenge of providing meaningful incentives for efficient irrigation. The Governor's proposal in his veto message to try one or more pilot projects may be one viable approach.

For more information contact Chris Treese at 970 379 7634 or
-Full Press Release-

Colorado River Cooperative Agreement Fully Ratified
Ruedi Reservoir's Debt Repaid, Securing Water for Western CO
Key Points of CO River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study
Low Powell & Mead Reservoir Levels Spur Contingency Planning
Board Awards $250K to Water Use Improvement Projects
Public Education & H2O Outdoors
State & Federal Affairs-Previous Annual Reports-

Despite snows, Powell and Mead levels stir concern
Board opposes Public Trust
Resolution opposing Initiative 103
Provision of Farm Bill offers water funding
Board policies reviewed
Breakthrough possible on transmountain diversion discussion
Board approves more than $250k in grants
-Previous Board Summaries-

Mapping the River Ahead (click to download report)
Priorities for Action Beyond the Colorado River Basin Study
The Colorado River has always been known for its superlatives - the most volatile supplies, the most iconic landscapes, the most dammed, the most litigated, and recently, the most threatened. The challenges of the past have been overcome with achievements that matched the scope of the difficulties - significant and much-emulated breakthroughs in engineering and deal-making. The challenges of the present and future will require an even greater degree of creativity and ability to see through immediate gains and losses to the greater and longer term benefits to river interests and communities. The leaders in Colorado River water issues have historically risen to the challenges, tackling tough issues as they arise, and the leadership engaged today is in the complicated and painful throes of doing so again.
-A Carpe Diem West Report- (click to download report)

Water Wranglers
The 75-Year History of the Colorado River District: A Story about the Embattled Colorado River and the Growth of the West             by George Sibley
Water Wranglers is the story of the Colorado River District's first seventy-five years, using imagination, political shrewdness, legal facility, and appeals to moral rightness beyond legal correctness to find balance among the various entities competing for the use of the river's water. It is ultimately the story of a minority seeking equity, justice, and respect under democratic majority rule - and willing to give quite a lot to retain what it needs.
-More Information-

Photo Gallery

Ruedi Reservoir 2012


2014 State of the River meetings

To learn more

Roundtables Website Link

Use this link for the latest information about the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act that created Basin Roundtables to discuss water supply issues and solutions.

Basin Roundtables

Risk Management for the Upper Colorado River Basin

General Manger Eric Kuhn has authored a paper that outlines risk-management issues associated with the growing use of water in the Colorado River Basin. It is called "Risk Management Strategies for the Upper Colorado River Basin." Kuhn lays out the risks lurking in the shadows as demands on the river exceed supply. He explores strategies to minimize the risk of a Colorado River Compact curtailment of the states of the Upper Basin, which are Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.
Risk Management for the Upper Colorado River Basin

10,825 Study

Joint Water Supply Study by East and West Slope entities to provide summer flows to support the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program.  
click here

The Colorado River

Eric Kuhn, General Manager
The Story of a Quest for Certainty on a Diminishing River

Colorado River Management

A West Slope Perspective
Existing and Proposed Transmountain Diversion Projects
Colorado River Management

Colorado River Cooperative Agreement

The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) amount the River District, 41 other West Slope entities and Denver Water. The historic Agreement offers water supply, environmental benefits and financial benefits to the West Slope.
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement

Colorado River's Uncertain Future

Global Warming and the Colorado River
P.O. Box 1120 - Glenwood Springs, CO 81602 - 201 Centennial, Suite 200 - Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-8522 FAX (970) 945-8799
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