In 2012, Colorado Water Trust was invited by the Colorado State University’s Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Group to join a group of local stakeholders to create a solution that would address the seven different locations on the Poudre River that dry up each summer. Today, the Water Trust is leading the charge on what is now called the Poudre Flows Project.
Colorado Water Trust envisions using a Streamflow Augmentation Plan to restore water to the Poudre River. Water users have relied on augmentation plans for decades to pool their water resources in times of shortage, or to address growth in water-short areas. While augmentation plans usually replace water taken out of the river, we are using that same model to keep water in the river. The Poudre Flows Project brings together water users and water rights owners along the river, including municipalities, water conservancy districts, and agricultural producers to strategically pool their water rights, which will be leased or loaned to restore river flows in times of low flow. Participating stakeholders can be reimbursed for their contributions and will support the health of the river ecosystem and their community. If implemented, this would be the first Instream Flow Augmentation Plan in the state and could be a model for streamflow restoration in other river basins.
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Cache la Poudre Water Users Association, Poudre Runs Through It Action/Study Work Group, City of Fort Collins, City of Greeley, City of Thornton, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Colorado Parks and Wildlife