The CWCB protects the state’s instream flow (ISF) water rights by enforcing terms and conditions contained in decrees, stipulations and agreements. The agency also monitors streamflow conditions to ensure that ISF water rights are being met and administered within the state’s prior appropriation system.
After decrees are obtained for ISF or natural lake water rights, it is important to ensure flows or levels are protected. The CWCB protects its ISF water rights from injury by:
- Reviewing and evaluating all new water right applications for potential impacts to ISF rights.
- Filing Statements of Opposition (SOP) with the Water Court if there is a potential for injury.
When an SOP is filed, the CWCB and the State Attorney General’s Office work with the applicant to develop terms and conditions to allow the application to go forward, while providing full protection of the ISF rights. In cases where the parties cannot agree on adequate terms and conditions, the CWCB, in coordination with the Attorney General’s Office, may pursue litigation.
Final court decrees and/or stipulations entered in Water Court cases where the CWCB filed an SOP to protect instream flow or natural lake level water rights are available through the SOP Document Search on this page.
CWCB staff actively monitor flow conditions at more than 225 stream gages via the state’s SMS Alert System. The system automatically alerts staff when flows approach and/or drop below decreed ISF amounts. Staff is alerted to low flow conditions within minutes by cell phone and emails and can immediately evaluate the situation. If warranted, staff can place an administrative call for water
to prevent injury to the instream flow water right.
Current Streamflow Conditions
The following links provide access to current streamflow conditions at Colorado gage locations: