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Colorado Water Plan

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IBCC & Roundtables

Colorado's Decision Support Systems


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: One Year of Implementation 
In November of 2015, the CWCB Board voted to approve Colorado’s Water Plan and deliver the plan to Governor Hickenlooper with a 10-0 vote. To get to that moment, it took thirty months of drafting, eight Basin Implementation Plans, three draft water plans, 30,000 public comments, and many years of discussions.

The success of the plan comes from implementing the objectives, goals, and actions Coloradans developed in order to ensure the state’s most valuable resource is protected and available for generations to come. Coloradans have been hard at work doing just that over this past year. And they will continue to do so for many years to come to ensure our state finds solutions and strategies that balance our diverse water needs and move the state forward together.

The Colorado's Water Plan Implementation Fact Sheet​ contains the progress update on meeting the objectives set forth in the plan.      Go to the Plan...

Landuse Planning Register for New Integrating Water into Land Use Planning Webinars
This webinar series will explore integrating water efficiency into landscape requirements and Planned Unit Developments (PUDs). The webinars are targeted to Colorado local government planners/leaders and water providers. Please register for one or both webinars on March 14 and April 11. More Info...

Agricultural Water Protection Water Rights
Per House Bill 16-1228, the CWCB has developed draft 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.  This effort is conducted in concert with the development of the Rules Governing the Review of a Substitute Water Supply Plan for the Lease, Loan, or Trade of a Decreed Agricultural Water Protection Water Right, being developed by the Division of Water Resources.  The document will be finalized by October 2017.  Public meetings in Water Division 1 and 2 will be held in April.  Please direct any questions or comments to Greg Johnson.

Review the Draft Criteria and Guidelines here.
Draft Document Image

South Platte Phreatophyte Report Available
On December 30, 2016, pursuant to SB14-195, the CWCB submitted to the General Assembly a report documenting the results of a study of phreatophytes (water-loving woody vegetation) along the South Platte River in the aftermath of the September 2013 flood. The study, conducted by researchers at Colorado State University concludes the last few years of floods and high water have resulted in a significant amount of tree mortality and no discernible new establishment. In addition there was little evidence of a serious invasion of non-native phreatophytes such as tamarisk or Russian olive, and cottonwood and willow remain the predominant species in the riparian forest. The report is available here, or from the Colorado Water Institute.
Report cover

Water Sense Water Fixture Requirements (Effective Sept 1, 2016)
Pursuant to the passage of SB14-103, the sale of low efficiency plumbing fixtures in Colorado was phased out in 2016. Additionally, plumbing manufacturers are required to report the percentage of the types and level of efficiency of fixtures sold in Colorado during 2016 by March 1, 2017. This is a one time reporting requirement to gauge the progress of sales of high efficiency fixtures. 

This Frequently-Asked-Questions PDF explains the requirements and the one-time manufacturer reporting requirement.

Manufacturers can report sales here.

Snow Cannon Sunset Review of the Weather Modification Act
The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform is currently conducting a sunset review of the Weather Modification Act of 1972. Analysis is performed to determine if the Act and the program are necessary and should be continued, modified, or cease operations. To provide input on this review, please visit their website.

Pilot System Water Conservation Program Re-issues RFP
The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) reissued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the Pilot System Water Conservation Program for the Upper Colorado River Basin. Facing declining levels in Lakes Powell and Mead, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and four major water providers that depend on the Colorado River Basin supplies, have funded a Pilot System Water Conservation Program.  The pilot program is exploring the efficacy of temporary water conservation measures that could be used, when needed, as part of a drought contingency plan.

The pilot program has been extended for a 3rd year and is actively seeking proposals for 2017 conservation opportunities that would be voluntary, compensated, and temporary in nature.  More info...

Lake Mead 2015

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 February edition!

CWCB Data Viewer now online!
The CWCB Data Viewer is a free, web-based map that provides water feature information and data about CWCB projects in the form of an interactive map of Colorado. Features can be selected and identified, and links are provided to more detailed information where available. This map is supported on all platforms, including mobile! Check it out here.
Data Viewer

2013 Flooding Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program
The CWCB has created a new website devoted to the Colorado Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program available at http://coloradoewp.com/. The website provides current information on the EWP Program for the public, as well as resources to assist watershed coordinators, local governments, landowners, and other interested parties with the implementation of watershed recovery projects.

Statewide Water Supply InitiativeStatewide Water Supply Initiative
Work is underway to update the Statewide Water Supply Initiative with a focus on data and analysis to serve as the technical foundation for future refinements to the Basin Implementation Plans and Colorado’s Water Plan. The CWCB Project Management Team, Consultant Team, and Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) are in the process of developing refined methodologies prior to performing the updated analyses.  More information can be found here.

  Hazard Mapping LocationColorado Hazard Mapping Program - Phase 1 Now Underway
Following the September 2013 flood disaster, Colorado has taken steps toward long-term planning and resiliency efforts for flooding and other natural hazards. In early 2015, Colorado’s Legislature passed a funding bill for the Colorado Hazard Mapping Program, which aims to provide a mitigation and land use framework in areas likely to be affected by future flooding, erosion, and debris flow events. The CWCB is the lead agency coordinating the Colorado Hazard Mapping Program, working with AECOM, a nationally-recognized engineering firm, to conduct the technical work.

Phase I of the Colorado Hazard Mapping Program is now underway and working to prepare updated hazard information for the streams most affected by the September 2013 flooding, beginning in the Big Thompson & St. Vrain watersheds. The updated information is also intended to eventually be used to update Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which are used to determine flood insurance requirements. For more information please visit the project website.

South Platte High Groundwater Analysis in the Gilcrest-LaSalle and Sterling Areas -- Final Report
There have been increased occurrences of high groundwater issues since about 2008 in several areas in the lower South Platte Basin, primarily in the Gilcrest-LaSalle area and in two subdivisions on the west side of Sterling. In collaboration with CWCB, the Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR) initiated detailed data collection and monitoring of the hydrologic conditions and drivers in the Sterling and Gilcrest-LaSalle areas in spring 2012 with the intent of hiring a third-party consultant to analyze the data, quantify the drivers of water table change, and identify relationships among the drivers. The overall goal of the project described in this report was to create a water budget that can help describe the hydrologic and hydrogeologic influences that may be causing high groundwater in the Sterling and Gilcrest/LaSalle areas.

View the report.

Groundwater Analysis Cover

Discharge from Big Bend Drain Criteria and Guidelines: Emergency Dewatering Grant Program in Areas of Gilcrest and Sterling, Colorado 
House Bill 15-1178 established this grant program for emergency dewatering in the Gilcrest and Sterling areas for cases that the CWCB and State Engineer determine are experiencing damaging high groundwater levels in recent years. Comments should be directed to Emily LoDolce.

Criteria and Guidelines: Pilot Projects to Evaluate Alternative Methods of Lowering the Water Table in Areas Along the South Platte River

House Bill 15-1013 authorizes the CWCB, in consultation with the State Engineer, to select and administer two pilot projects for the purpose of providing the CWCB and State Engineer with sufficient data to evaluate two alternative methods of lowering the water table in the Gilcrest and Sterling areas along the South Platte River that are experiencing damaging high groundwater levels.

Comments should be directed to Emily LoDolce.

Discharge from Big Bend Drain

Road Damaged by Flooding Flood Hydrology Reports Available
CWCB, in partnership with CDOT, has undertaken an extensive hydrology study for major watersheds impacted by the September 2013 flood.  The study goals included flood hydrology updates for these watersheds using current rainfall-runoff modeling techniques and modern rainfall data. The hydrology models use detailed information from the 2013 flood to calibrate results. The new study results can be used to update floodplain maps throughout the flood-affected area. To access these studies please see "Post Flood Reports" on the right side of the 2013 Flood Response page.


5/17/2017 9:30 AM5/18/2017 5:00 PM
Pagosa Springs
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 CWCB Events

Water Availability Task Force Meeting4/18/2017 1:00 PM
CWCB Board Meeting5/17/2017 9:30 AM

 IBCC/Roundtable Events

Colorado Roundtable 3/27/2017 12:00 PM
Gunnison Roundtable 4/3/2017 4:00 PM
Rio Grande Roundtable4/11/2017 2:00 PM
South Platte Roundtable 4/11/2017 4:00 PM
Southwest Roundtable4/12/2017 3:00 PM
Metro Roundtable 4/13/2017 4:00 PM
IBCC Meeting4/20/2017 9:30 AM
Arkansas Roundtable 4/25/2017 12:00 PM
Yampa/White Roundtable5/10/2017 6:00 PM

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