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Colorado River Cooperative Agreement

Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
Path to a Secure Water Future

From the Colorado River District 2013 Fourth Quarterly Newsletter:

Final signatures inked to ratify historic agreement

The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) is now fully executed with final approval coming from irrigators and water suppliers in the Grand Valley, General Counsel Peter Fleming reported to the Colorado River District Board of Directors.

The CRCA creates a long-term partnership between Denver Water and 42 entities on the West Slope. The agreement is a framework for numerous actions by the parties to benefit water supply, water quality, recreation and the environment on both sides of the Continental Divide.

It is the direct result of Denver Water's desire to expand its Moffat Tunnel transmountain water supply from the Fraser River in Grand County and to enlarge Gross Reservoir in Boulder County. While that project is still being permitted, the CRCA represents an enhancement of beneficial actions beyond mitigation yet to be spelled out in the record of decision.

Negotiations on the CRCA concluded in early 2011 and the engaged parties began their approvals. The Grand Valley entities, however, waited until they were satisfied that federal and state reviews of Green Mountain Reservoir and Shoshone Hydro Plant aspects in the agreement were finished and the agreement could be implemented as envisioned.

The CRCA also means the West Slope will not oppose permitting of the Moffat Project.

The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) begins a long-term partnership between Denver Water and the West Slope. The agreement is a framework for numerous actions by the parties to benefit water supply, water quality, recreation, and the environment on both sides of the Continental Divide.

Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (entire document, Jan. 7, 2013)
For a copy of the 5MB map please email:

Historic water pact signed between Colorado's East, West Slope interests
Decades of court battles over the diversion of Colorado River water to the Front Range could be ending with the signing Tuesday of what is being termed "an historic agreement" between Western slope cities and counties, Denver Water and other interests in the state.

The agreement, signed near the headwaters of the Colorado River in Hot Sulphur Springs, will govern future water project construction and management of Colorado River Basin water and establishes a new process for dealing with long-standing disputes between east and west slope interests.

"The collaborative spirit is alive and well in Colorado," said Gov. John Hickenlooper. "This is a state where we get things done. From farmers and families to businesses and wildlife, this agreement will help protect Colorado's water and is a testament to how collaboration can overcome even long-standing differences in managing this vital resource."
-Full article-
-View full proceedings on YouTube-

Summit County signs on to Colo. River deal
Pact aims to end fighting between East, West Slopes over water
The culmination of several years of negotiations on water protections for the Western Slope took place on Tuesday in Grand County during an official signing of the Colorado Cooperative Agreement.

The signing took place more than one year after Gov. John Hickenlooper last visited Grand County, when he first rolled out the Colorado Cooperative Agreement, deemed an unprecedented water agreement for our time. The agreement aims to settle years of East and West Slope water disputes. -Full article-

Colorado River Water Deal Reached
Colorado's largest water utility has signed a truce with western slope water agencies and governments over its future use of the stressed Upper Colorado River.

This agreement solidifies and shows a new way of doing water business in Colorado," said Grand County Commissioner James Newberry. Newbury spoke at a signing ceremony in Hot Sulpher Springs that included Governor John Hickenlooper, the head of the Colorado River District and others.
-Full article-

Bennet Statement on the Signing of Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement on the signing of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) between Denver Water, Grand and Summit Counties, and the Clinton Ditch and Reservoir Company
"Today's signatures on the cooperative agreement mark a significant step towards the consensus-based and sustainable future development of Colorado's water resources."
-Full press release-

Udall Heralds the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement as a 'High Water Mark' for Collaboration on Water
Sen. Mark Udall released the following statement today following the signing of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement by Denver Water, Grand and Summit Counties and the Clinton Ditch and Reservoir Company: 'Water is the lifeblood of Colorado. Our ability to sustainably use it to fuel economic growth and preserve our Colorado heritage is critical for the state,' Udall said. -Full press release-

Colorado: Summit, Grand counties sign deal with Denver Water
A major water agreement aimed at ending decades of feuding and litigation between the Front Range and the West Slope moved one step closer to completion this week, as Denver Water, Summit County and Grand County representatives inked the deal at a ceremony in Hot Sulphur Springs.

Along with being hailed as a model of collaboration by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the deal also gives all the parties some certainties as to the future management and disposition of the state's most precious resource.
-Full Article-

A historic moment for Colorado water
Former foes come together to sign Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
Leaders from Grand and Summit counties, Denver Water and the Clinton Ditch & Reservoir Co. - entities that for decades battled in court over water - stood today with Gov. John Hickenlooper and signed the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, changing the way water will be managed in Colorado.

The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement is the product of years of negotiations, and ultimately included more than 40 parties stretching from Grand Junction to the Denver metro area. The historic agreement is the largest of its kind in the history of the state. It shifts Colorado away from a path of conflict to a path of cooperation and collaboration in managing the state's water resources.
-Full article-

Denver Water, 2 counties sign Colo. River deal
Colorado's largest water utility and two western counties are ratifying a deal aimed at balancing the Denver-area's demand for water with the needs of mountain communities.

Denver Water and the leaders of Grand and Summit counties are set to sign the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement at noon Tuesday in Hot Sulphur Springs.
-Full Story-

Anyone familiar with Colorado water issues is aware of the tug-of-war between the Front Range and Western Slope. The two have tussled for decades over projects that diverted western water to the populous east. Now the conflict is being laid to rest, with efforts geared toward collaboration instead. Eagle County representatives became the first large group of 40 entities to sign the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement at the Feb. 21, 2012,  regular commissioner meeting. The agreement addresses numerous water issues from the Continental Divide to the Utah border.

Front row (L to R): Paul Testwuide, Vail Resorts (retired); Tom Allender, Eagle Park Reservoir Company; Tom Leonhardt, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority; Jim Lochhead, Denver Water; Glenn Porzak, Eagle River water users; Rick Sackbauer, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District; Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District; Peter Fleming, Colorado River District. Middle row (L to R): Dennis Gelvin, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District (retired); Doug Lovell, Vail Resorts; Jon Stavney, Eagle County Commissioner; Bob Warner, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District; Melissa Macdonald; Eagle River Watershed Council; Linn Brooks, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District; David Hallford, Eagle County water counsel; Bryan Treu, Eagle County. Back row (L to R): Joe Macy, Eagle River Watershed Council; Bill Simmons, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority; Sara Fisher, Eagle County Commissioner

Historic proposed agreement heralds a new path for Colorado Water
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement ushers in a new vision for cooperative water management in Colorado.
-Press release on the April 28, 2011 roll-out event-
-Video Coverage of First Signatures by Eagle County entities, Feb 21, 2012-

Video c
overage of April 28, 2011 event: (posted on YouTube)
Segment 1   Segment 2     Segment 3    Segment 4

For more information, please contact:

Jim Pokrandt
970-945-8522 (office)
970-319-1807 (cell)

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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