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The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) represents each major water basin, Denver and other state agencies in our joint effort to use water wisely and protect our water for future generations.

Colorado's Water Plan
Colorado’s Water Plan sets forth strategies toWater Plan Fact Sheet meet our future needs through balanced policies and actions that all Coloradans and their elected officials can support. The plan attests to our citizens’ ability to organize around shared goals to preserve our water values of a productive economy, vibrant and sustainable cities, productive agriculture, a strong environment, and a robust recreation industry. Learn about the Water Plan in a quick fact sheet!

Colorado’s Water Plan alone does not relieve us of the inherent uncertainty of water scarcity, uncertain supplies, natural hazards, economic cycles, or population and economic growth. The plan requires implementation, leadership, and funding. Check out the letter sent to candidates for statewide office by the Interbasin Compact Committee.

You can also check-in on our state's progress in the 2017 Ripple Effects report. Or jump straight into Colorado's Water Plan to see where you can help prepare for Colorado's water future.

Upcoming Water Plan Grant Application Deadline: February 1
Colorado Water Conservation Board staff is seeking new Water Plan Grant projects that meet Water Plan objectives in one of the five major categories.

  • Water Storage and Supply
  • Conservation & Land Use
  • Engagement & Innovation
  • Agricultural
  • Environment & Recreation

Applications must be submitted by February 1. Learn more.

Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Extended 13 Years
A victory for wildlife and Colorado water, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, and the Governors of Nebraska and Wyoming signed a Cooperative Agreement to extend the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program with $156 million.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board has played a major role in this Program’s creation and ongoing efforts, including policy and financial support.

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Colorful ColoradoDemand Management Feasibility
The Upper Colorado River Basin States are beginning to investigate the feasibility of a potential Upper Basin Demand Management program. Colorado is initiating a process to investigate feasibility of a potential Demand Management program within the state, on a parallel track to efforts at the interstate level. This process is proceeding consistent with the direction from the Board in the Support and Policy Statements adopted in November 2018. Information about the 2019 Work Plan for the investigation of Demand Management feasibility can be found here, as well as other resources regarding this topic.

Read the January 2020 CWCB Director's Update here...

For more information email demandmanagement@state.co.us

Water Plan Technical Update
In 2016, the CWCB launched an update and upgrade of the state’s supply and demand projection data and tools underpinning Colorado’s Water Plan. The study, now "Analysis and Technical Update to the Water Plan" (simply, "Tech Update"; formerly "SWSI"), embeds scenario planning and climate change into analyses quantifying future supplies, demands, and resource gaps. The study report and tools are on schedule to be released July 2019. The preliminary release of the full report and supporting data are available as drafts via this webpage

WEP Addendum Report cover Best Practices for Implementing Water Conservation and Demand Management Through Land Use Planning Efforts

A new Guidance Document for implementing water conservation measures through land use planning is now available to Colorado water suppliers.

Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans
In December 2017, Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman called on the seven Colorado River Basin States and water entitlement holders in the Lower Colorado Basin to develop Drought Contingency Plans (DCPs) to respond to ongoing historic drought conditions in the Basin and reduce the likelihood of Colorado River reservoirs – particularly Lake Powell and Lake Mead – further declining to critical elevations. All seven Colorado River Basin States have been working diligently throughout 2018 on a set of draft DCP agreements that would implement Drought Contingency Plans in the Upper and Lower Basins. The agreements include an Upper Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan and a Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan.

  • The Upper Basin DCP is designed to: a) protect critical elevations at Lake Powell and help assure continued compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact, and b) authorize storage of conserved water in the Upper Basin that could help establish the foundation for a Demand Management Program that may be developed in the future.
  • The Lower Basin DCP is designed to: a) require Arizona, California and Nevada to contribute additional water to Lake Mead storage at predetermined elevations, and b) create additional flexibility to incentivize additional voluntary conservation of water to be stored in Lake Mead.

The Upper and Lower Basin DCPs contain actions in addition to the provisions of the December 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead and are available here for download.

Open Enrollment for the Colorado Water Loss Initiative (CWLI)
The Colorado Water Loss Initiative (CWLI) is a comprehensive program of AWWA M36 water loss training and technical assistance for urban water systems across Colorado. The AWWA M36 water audit methodology is recommended best practice in North America Leaking Water Pipeto support informed decision making for water loss control and revenue recovery. Cost-effective water loss management reduces cost, increases revenue, serving the utility's bottom line and the rate-payer alike.

The program will include 4 work sessions spread out over a 2-year period, beginning Spring of 2019. Outcomes for participation include free training and technical assistance from national water loss experts, validated AWWA M36 water audit, and recommended next steps for water loss reduction and revenue recovery.

The CWLI is structured and funded for the largest 165 water systems, though smaller systems may be considered if space is available. This program is being offered at no cost, and is eligible for drinking water system staff. However, space is limited and enrollment will close when the available slots have been claimed. The registration deadline is September 28th. You are encouraged to register soon to ensure your spot. Please visit www.coloradowaterloss.org today to learn more and register your utility.

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Updated Climate Plan Available
Gov. John Hickenlooper released an updated edition of the Colorado Climate Plan, a statewide set of policy recommendations and actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to increase Colorado’s level of preparedness. The revised Plan reflects advances in the discussion on how best to address climate change at the state level as well as progress since the release of the initial plan in 2014; and wraps in the objectives contained in Gov. Hickenlooper’s executive order of July 2017 that committed the state to additional climate action. The plan can be found HERE.

Public comments on the plan collected last fall and have been addressed and incorporated where appropriate. A summary of how those comments were addressed can be found HERE.

Colorado's Water Plan Grant Application Available
The Board will select projects, programs and activities to fund from applications that have the best opportunity to make progress on the CWP’s Measurable Objectives or critical actions. The CWCB staff reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants to modify the scope and budget of their project to better meet the CWP objectives in light of fund availability. CWCB staff will evaluate applications and recommend projects to the CWCB Board for final approval at its regularly scheduled Board meetings. More...

The CWCB Confluence Newsletter is Out!
The CWCB has a new e-newsletter which we're sending out after each CWCB Board meeting (every other month). It highlights the work of the CWCB Board and staff, the IBCC, the nine basin roundtables, partner organizations, and local efforts and events involving water across the state. It also has updates on Colorado's Water Plan implementation and important news and information for the Colorado water community. Sign up here, or with the button on the left.
Read the December edition!
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South Platte Storage Study Report Available
The South Platte Storage Study (SPSS) was performed as a result of House Bill 16-1256. This legislation authorized the Colorado Water Conservation Board, in collaboration with the State Engineer and the South Platte Basin and Metro Roundtables, to conduct a study to identify water storage possibilities along the lower South Platte River from Greeley to Julesburg. These storage options include the construction of new reservoirs, the rehabilitation and enlargement of existing reservoirs, and underground storage.

Download the SPSS report here...

Agricultural Water Protection Water Rights
Per House Bill 16-1228, the CWCB developed Criteria and Guidelines for the establishment of Agricultural Water Protection Programs in Water Division 1 or 2 for the implementation of Agricultural Water Protection Water Rights. The Criteria and Guidelines were approved by the CWCB at the July 2017 board meeting and are available here. The Division of Water Resources is developing Rules Governing the Review of a Substitute Water Supply Plan for the Lease, Loan, or Trade of a Decreed Agricultural Water Protection Water Right.

More information on the rules is available here.
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 CWCB Events

Demand Management Regional Workshop1/29/2020 9:00 AM
Monitoring & Verification Demand Management Workgroup2/10/2020 10:00 AM
Water Availability Task Force Meeting2/18/2020 9:30 AM

 IBCC/Roundtable Events

Rio Grande Roundtable2/11/2020 2:00 PM
Metro Roundtable 2/11/2020 4:00 PM
South Platte Roundtable 2/11/2020 4:00 PM
Arkansas Roundtable 2/12/2020 12:30 PM
North Platte Roundtable2/18/2020 6:30 PM
IBCC Meeting3/4/2020 9:00 AM
Yampa/White Roundtable3/11/2020 6:00 PM
Gunnison Roundtable 3/16/2020 4:00 PM
Colorado Roundtable 3/23/2020 12:00 PM
Southwest Roundtable4/23/2020 3:00 PM

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