Finish Line in sight for the Colorado Water Plan

From every corner of the state, people came together to hammer out goals and ideals, prioritize needs and wants, and think deeply about how we move together towards a collaborative vision of water in Colorado.

Sinjin Eberle

Every business. Every Family. Every team. Every state.

All have one thing in common. In order to be successful, they must have a plan, and staying true to that plan and trusting in the process is paramount to a successful outcome.

Over the past two years (and arguably over the past decade), Colorado has been deep in developing a new plan – one that affects every resident of the state, every visitor to the state, and the halo of an entire region of the country that depends on this one, very important aspect of everyday life.

Water.

As a headwaters state, Colorado is the genesis for much of the water in the western US. However up to this year, there has been no overarching plan for how our water is managed, used, distributed, and conserved. But soon, after hundreds of meetings, thousands of hours of contemplation and negotiation, tens of thousands of public comments (from people like you – thank you!), covered by dozens of media stories, action alerts, and Facebook posts, Colorado is racing toward the goal of having a tangible and actionable Colorado Water Plan.

On November 19th, the final plan will be delivered to Governor Hickenlooper by the board responsible for managing our most valuable and precious resource. What will it say, and what it will do, is still fodder for speculation until the bound cover of the final plan is cracked open. But here is what we do know:

  • We know that the boat is definitely pointed in the right direction. We look forward to participating in the plan’s implementation so future water decisions continue to reflect the values and priorities outlined in the plan.
  • We are pleased to see the plan include many of the points Coloradans have expressed overwhelmingly—through more than 30,000 public comments submitted to the state—including a strong statewide urban conservation goal and proposed funding for healthy rivers and streams across our state.
  • Over the next year, we urge the CWCB and the Hickenlooper administration to maintain this positive momentum to ensure there will be inclusive implementation, specific, stringent criteria for project selection and adequate funding to protect our rivers, outdoor recreation industry, agricultural heritage, and thriving cities.

So what’s next?

It’s essential this plan doesn’t just sit on a shelf. It must be implemented to build on the momentum created through this extensive effort. From every corner of the state, people came together to hammer out goals and ideals, prioritize needs and wants, and think deeply about how we as a state move past the arguments of old, to move together towards a collaborative vision of water in Colorado. We look forward to working with the state to implement this vital plan, and owe it to the tens of the thousands of people who’ve engaged and commented on this plan to have it realize its public values and priorities.

More to come when the final plan reaches the finish line in a few weeks. Please stay tuned, and thank you for making your voice heard for Colorado’s water future!