CWCB Drought and Water Supply Assessment

Chapter 16

Cooperative Agreements for Drought Response in Colorado
Tracy Bouvette and Nina Nichols


Colorado water users rely on the doctrine of prior appropriations to utilize and manage their collective water rights for beneficial use. This doctrine guarantees senior water rights holders their entire appropriation, regardless of whether this means flow is available for junior water right holders in times of water scarcity. While Colorado water law strictly defines access to water rights, water users have employed many types of agreements to distribute water in times of scarcity. Respondents to the Drought & Water Supply Assessment were surveyed to determine what cooperative agreements they use and /or need to manage water supply during drought.

View chapter 16 in pdf.


Table of Contents | Introduction | Acknowledgements | Executive Summary
Section One Chapters 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Section Two Chapters 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Appendices A | B | C | List of Acronyms | Maps | Glossary

CWCB_logoColorado Water Conservation Board


“Cooperative agreements allow for system flexibility within the prior appropriations doctrine of the state, and as such support drought mitigation and management activities.”

Excerpt, Chapter 16



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Prepared by:
Bouvette Consulting
Resolution Research &
Marketing, Inc.