Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

2021 marked 20 years of the Water Trust and 20 years of restoring flows to Colorado’s rivers!


Over these last two decades we have restored over 13.5 billion gallons of water to 588 miles of rivers and streams statewide. We are so proud of this work and grateful for all of our donors and supporters who make this important work possible. Thank you for joining us on this journey, we look forward to many more years to come.

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A Few Highlights From the Last 20 Years


  • 2001: The Colorado Water Trust is founded
  • 2003: Adoption of our 1st strategic plan
  • 2005: First Colorado Water Trust water rights filed for a permanent transfer of water in the Blue River
  • 2009: Pitkin County and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) sign an innovative Trust agreement to allow the County to lend water to streams for instream flow purposes
  • 2009: First annual RiverBank
  • 2011: Our 1st infrastructure project, CCC Ditch, reconnects flows and fish on the San Miguel
  • 2012: Request for Water program instituted to lease water on a short-term basis to combat the effects of drought
  • 2012: Creation of the David Getches Flowing Water Award
  • 2013: 1st project on the Poudre River, the removal of the abandoned Josh Ames diversion dam
  • 2014: Water court application filed for the West’s first permanent water sharing agreement between agriculture and the environment, the McKinley Ditch Project
  • 2015: 1st implementation of SB19 (Rio Colorado Project)
  • 2017: Recipients of the Palmer Land Trust’s Southern Colorado Conservation Award 
  • 2019: 1st implementation of our 15 Mile Reach project
  • 2020: Milestone of 13.5 billion gallons of water restored to 588 miles of rivers and streams statewide
  • 2021: 20th Anniversary! 

How We Celebrated!

We believe that a milestone like 20 years of the Water Trust deserves to be celebrated – and what better way to do it than with friends! Check out the various events we held with our community throughout the year:

Riverbank 2021

Join us at the Denver Botanic Gardens for our annual fundraiser to restore flows to Colorado’s rivers in need. It’s a fun-filled evening of food, drinks, a silent auction, and the presentation of the David Getches Flowing Waters Award.


"Celebrating Rivers" Photo Contest

Our annual photo contest is happening with a special 20th anniversary theme of, “How Rivers Connect Us.”

Game Happy Hour with Amy Beatie!

Join us and our former Executive Director for a fun and celebratory game night on June 30th!

Thank You!


We are so lucky to be supported by such an incredible community. None of this would be possible without you all.

Cheers to another 20 years!