First Approved Water Conservation Program in Colorado

In June 2015, the Water Trust received approval from the Colorado River Water Conservation District (“River District”) for the first Water Conservation Program application allowed by Senate Bill 2013-019. Under the proposed Program, the Water Trust’s project partners will not divert water from Willow Creek during certain low streamflow conditions. By choosing to not exercise their junior water rights, the owner’s water will conserve flows and protect the fishery in up to half a mile of Willow Creek, a tributary to the Colorado River, and up to 4.3 miles of the Colorado River itself. The specific location, priority and other details of these water rights matched the intention of the protections created under SB 19 and made it a model project to pilot this unused, new tool.

“It is our understanding that this is the first use of Senate Bill 19 passed by the legislature in 2013. SB 19 provides that in any decrease in historical consumptive use that might occur while the rights are included in an approved water conservation program shall not be considered in any judicial quantification of the historical consumptive use of the water rights…Thank you for pioneering the use of the Water Conservation Program. We look forward to working with the Colorado Water Trust on this particular project and others to come.”

– John Currier, Chief Engineer, Colorado River Water Conservation District (Excerpted from approval letter dated June 11, 2105.)

Approval Letter
Colorado River Water Conservation District