Kimberly Ricotta 303-866-3441 x3226
Water Acquisitions

The CWCB acquires water, water rights and interests in water to preserve and improve the natural environment of streams and lakes in the state. The Water Acquisition Program is a voluntary program that allows water rights' owners to donate, sell, lease or loan existing decreed water rights to the CWCB on a permanent or temporary basis. The CWCB can acquire water by purchase, bequest, donation, lease, exchange or any other contractual agreement. The CWCB cannot acquire water rights by eminent domain or force an individual to convey a water right to the CWCB for instream flow purposes. 

The CWCB currently receives several offers of water rights for ISF use via donation, purchase, lease or loan each year. Water acquisition proposals can be considered at any time during the year. Each water acquisition transaction is unique, and the particular terms and conditions are included in a separate agreement that is developed by the proponent and CWCB staff. The CWCB has 120 days to respond to the proposal. Individuals interested in learning more about the water acquisition process are encouraged to contact the CWCB staff. 

Request for Water Acquisition Pilot Process
Announcing a voluntary process designed to protect and enhance rivers while providing opportunities for water rights owners to explore new flexible uses for their water. This Request for Water Acquisitions (“RFWA”) Pilot Process streamlines and enhances an existing program that provides benefits to water rights owners for using creative and flexible tools to manage their water rights. This allows water to be returned to rivers and watersheds to keep them healthy, without any penalties or harm to the water rights. More information ….

            Carbon Lake Ditch

 Additional Information

Examples of Acquisitions 
  • The Nature Conservancy has made several water right donations to the CWCB over the years including a 300 cubic feet per second senior water right to protect flows through 29 miles of the Gunnison River (includes the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument).
  • The City of Boulder donated valuable senior water rights to the CWCB to maintain instream flows in Boulder Creek through the city.
  • The Colorado Water Trust, a private non-profit conservation group, purchased and conveyed a water right to the CWCB to preserve and improve the natural environment of Boulder Creek and the Blue River, a Gold Medal Fishery in Summit County.