Projects Map

Colorado Water Trust has 22 flow restoration projects across the state, ranging from permanent transfers of water to short-term leases to diversion dam removal projects. Click one of the projects on the map to learn more or scroll down to browse projects by river basin.

Projects Map

Click one of the projects on the map to learn more.

Colorado Map
Washington Gulch - Breem Ditch Lower Yampa River- Elkhead Reservoir Big Beaver Reservoir / Big Beaver Creek & White River Rio Colorado / Willow Creek Bunte Highligh Ditch / Willow Creek McKinley Ditch / Little Cimarron River Winter Park Ranch W&S District / Fraser River Stapleton Brothers Ditch / Maroon Creek Stagecoach Reservoir / Yampa River Yost Ditch / Deep Creek Breem Ditch / Washington Gulch Three Sisters Ditch / Hermosa Creek Hat Creek Ditch / Hat Creek Peabody Ditch No. 1 / Blue River CCC Ditch / San Miguel River Josh Ames Diversion Dam Deconstruction / Cache La Poudre River Coats Bros Ditch / Tomichi Creek Terrace Reservoir / Alamosa River Crystal River Project Fraser Tributaries Water Conservation Program Roaring Fork River - Wheeler Ditch 15 Mile Reach Cache la Poudre - ISF Augmentation Plan

Washington Gulch - Breem Ditch

Just outside of the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado, a change of point of diversion and a contractual agreement with a downstream water supplier created an opportunity for instream flows on Washington Gulch and the Slate River. (Washington Gulch and the Slate River)

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Lower Yampa River- Elkhead Reservoir

The Water Trust’s Lower Yampa River- Elkhead Reservoir project helps to provide water to a critical reach of endangered fish habitat over 150 miles long on the lower Yampa River.

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Big Beaver Reservoir / Big Beaver Creek & White River

Big_Beaver_Creek_Reservoir

The Colorado Water Trust's 2012 Request for Water program catalyzed a water lease between Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), resulting in the CWCB's lease of 3,000 acre-feet of water out of Big Beaver Reservoir on Big Beaver Creek to benefit flows in the White River. (Big Beaver Creek and the White River)

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Rio Colorado / Willow Creek

Willow-Creek

This project, the first use of a Water Conservation Program created under Senate Bill 13-19, conserves flows and protects the fishery in Willow Creek and the Colorado River by ceasing diversions at two irrigation ditches during certain low flow conditions. (Willow Creek)

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Bunte Highligh Ditch / Willow Creek

The Bunte Highline diversion structure

CWT's largest direct flow lease through its Request for Water 2012 program, this water right sustained flows in Willow Creek downstream of Willow Creek Reservoir, down to its confluence with the Colorado River, and then down the Colorado River through and past Windy Gap. (Willow Creek and the Colorado River)

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McKinley Ditch / Little Cimarron River

McKinley Ditch headgate

In January 2014, the Colorado Water Trust purchased a portion (5.8 cfs) of the McKinley Ditch to help restore late summer flows to the Little Cimarron. Project goals include keeping water flowing through a three mile segment of what is often dry stream, reconnecting habitat and allowing for fish migration. (The Little Cimarron River)

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Winter Park Ranch W&S District / Fraser River

Winter-Park

The Board of Directors for Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District saw an opportunity to lease some of the District’s water rights to supplement streamflows in St. Louis Creek and the Fraser River and pursued a local project to benefit their home river. (St. Louis Creek and the Fraser River)

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Stapleton Brothers Ditch / Maroon Creek

Stapleton

With Colorado Water Trust’s assistance, Pitkin County and the Colorado Water Conservation Board signed an innovative Trust Agreement to allow the County to lend water to streams for instream flow purposes. The first water right used under the agreement, the Stapleton Brothers Ditch on Maroon Creek, has made its way through a water court change case and is available to the Board for instream flow use. (Maroon Creek)

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Stagecoach Reservoir / Yampa River

The Stagecoach Reservoir project benefits multiple water users including the environment and recreation on the Yampa River in northwest Colorado. The project began with a partnership between the Colorado Water Trust, Colorado Water Conservation Board, and Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District in 2012. (The Yampa River)

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Yost Ditch / Deep Creek

Yost_Deep_Creek

Through its Request for Water 2012 program, the Colorado Water Trust worked with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to lease water from a small ditch to increase faltering flows in Deep Creek. (Deep Creek)

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Breem Ditch / Washington Gulch

Breem

Just outside of the Town of Crested Butte, Colorado, a change of point of diversion and a contractual agreement with a downstream water supplier created an opportunity for instream flows on Washington Gulch and the Slate River. (Washington Gulch and the Slate River)

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Three Sisters Ditch / Hermosa Creek

Three Sisters Ditch Hermosa Creek

In the San Juan National Forest just north of Durango, beautiful Hermosa Creek flows into the Animas River. Diverting from Hermosa Creek, the Three Sisters Ditch water right was conveyed to the Colorado Water Trust in 2010 as part of a land-swap facilitated by Western Land Group. (Hermosa Creek)

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Hat Creek Ditch / Hat Creek

Hat Creek instream flow rights secured

Hat Creek, home to native cutthroat trout, is a tributary of upper Brush Creek in Eagle County. This project is the result of years of collaboration among Vail Associates, the Colorado Water Trust, the U.S. Forest Service, and Western Land Group in pursuit of a common goal: obtaining a decree from the state’s Water Court approving the change of irrigation rights on Hat Creek to instream flow uses. (Hat Creek and East Brush Creek)

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Peabody Ditch No. 1 / Blue River

Peabody Ditch

When ranchers Jeannette and Howard Moser began planning to scale back their operations, their local water commissioner, Scott Hummer, introduced them to the Colorado Water Trust. Now, the Mosers’ water is protected instream, bolstering flows on fourteen miles of Boulder Creek and the Blue River, keeping their water in local streams they know and love. (Boulder Creek and the Blue River)

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CCC Ditch / San Miguel River

CCC Ditch valley view

1500 linear feet of the San Miguel River have been restored by this collaborative project, improving river connectivity, fish migration and sediment transport. (The San Miguel River)

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Josh Ames Diversion Dam Deconstruction / Cache La Poudre River

As of November 7, 2013, the Josh Ames Diversion Dam on the Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins is no longer! (The Cache la Poudre River)

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Coats Bros Ditch / Tomichi Creek

The Coats Bros Ditch diverts water from the west side of Tomichi Creek to irrigate the Kruthaupt Ranch, which is located on Tomichi Creek near Gunnison. The Ditch is decreed for more than 19 cubic feet per second (cfs) under 3 separate priorities with appropriation dates ranging from 1879 to 1887. The Kruthaupt family owns more than 3 cfs in the two senior-most priorities. In average and dry streamflow years, Tomichi Creek experiences localized dry ups, which affect river connectivity and present barriers to fish migration. (Tomichi Creek)

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Terrace Reservoir / Alamosa River

terrace_release_panorama

On November 5, 2015, the Division 3 water court issued final decrees to permanently bolster streamflow in the Alamosa River. These are the first water rights in the Alamosa River decreed for use by the Colorado Water Conservation Board for restoring streamflow. (The Alamosa River)

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Crystal River Project

Crystal River Project

The Colorado Water Trust is envisioning a river-wide diversion coordination effort, in partnership with agricultural producers, that will help keep the Crystal flowing during drier years. In early 2018, the Water Trust signed its first agreement of the project with Cold Mountain Ranch, a Crystal River water user in a critical reach of the river. (The Crystal River)

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Fraser Tributaries Water Conservation Program

Fraser River

In November 2016, in partnership with the water users, Colorado Water Trust obtained the necessary approval of this Water Conservation Program for certain water rights tributary to the Fraser River and the parties are now preparing for implementation in five of the next ten years. Each implementation year will restore a significant amount of water to tributaries and the Fraser River. (tributary streams and the Fraser River)

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Roaring Fork River - Wheeler Ditch

This Water Conservation Program restores flow to the Roaring Fork River through the City of Aspen during dry years. (Roaring Fork River)

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15 Mile Reach

This project restores water to a 15 mile reach of endangered fish on the Colorado River, near Grand Junction
(Colorado River)

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Cache la Poudre - ISF Augmentation Plan

This groundbreaking project on the Cache la Poudre River seeks to restore flow to one of Colorado’s hardest working rivers through the City of Fort Collins using a new application of an established legal mechanism

(Cache la Poudre River)

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