On November 5, 2015, the Division 3 water court issued final decrees to permanently bolster streamflows in the Alamosa River. These official decisions by the water court are the final steps in a multi-year approval process spearheaded by Alamosa RIVERKEEPER® and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to improve water quality and the ecological functionality of the Alamosa River. The absolute decree means that up to 2.5 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water from the Gabino Gallegos Ditch and up to 0.5 cfs in the Valdez ditch can be used to bolster streamflows in a 16-mile stretch of the Alamosa River. These instream flows are the first on the Alamosa River to be enrolled in the CWCB’s Instream Flow Program and protected for this use.
The Water Trust has served this project as technical consultant on water rights and instream flow information since 2008. We owe thanks for this successful water court application to a partnership between CWCB, Alamosa RIVERKEEPER®, a local nonprofit group working to improve water quality and quantity in the river, and Terrace Irrigation Company, who owns the reservoir where the water is stored for release after the irrigation season, if needed.