Colorado Water Trust works in partnership with water rights owners to restore water to rivers while protecting water rights and livelihoods.

The Request for Water Process, launched in collaboration with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, is a streamlined process for water rights owners to explore options for using their water to benefit Colorado’s rivers and streams.

There are many legal tools available that protect water rights while also benefiting local streams and rivers. Voluntary water sharing arrangements or voluntary acquisitions of senior water rights, on a temporary or permanent basis, can help restore water to rivers for ecological benefits and complementary uses downstream or on irrigated property.

Request for Water is confidential, completely voluntary and open to all water rights owners, including agricultural, municipal, industrial, or others. Interested water rights owners can submit a confidential, non-binding Preliminary Interest Form to at any time.

Potential benefits to water rights owners are:

  • Compensation for water can provide additional income to support agricultural operations
  • Protection of water rights and use from diminishment or abandonment
  • Knowing that you are helping keep Colorado’s natural environment healthy and beautiful for future generations

Request for Water has several goals:

  • To invite water rights owners to explore how their water might be able to benefit rivers
  • To streamline complex transaction processes and utilization of resources
  • To facilitate implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan objectives
  • To add water to river segments in need while coordinating with agricultural and other water uses

WATCH: A recording of our 2023 Request for Water presentation at the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Instream Flow Workshop.

Use our interactive webtool to explore legal tools for flow restoration to see what solution might work best for you

How the Request for Water Process Works

  1. Request for Water officially launches at the end of January each year.
  2. Informational webinars and presentations are scheduled throughout the spring and summer—exact dates and times will be posted on the Water Trust website.
  3. Interested water rights owners can submit a confidential Preliminary Interest Form to at any time.
  4. Water Trust staff will perform a confidential initial water right investigation, assessment of potential streamflow benefits, and identification of options.
  5. A Water Trust staff member will contact water right owners to discuss available flow restoration opportunities.
  6. The water rights owner decides if the project or transaction is right for their needs.
  7. Each instream flow or flow restoration project that moves forward is unique and will have different legal and technical requirements, and different approval timelines. The Colorado Water Trust will coordinate with individual water right owners and CWCB to develop an appropriate timeline for completing the requirements for each transaction.

Learn About Colorado Water Trust’s Water Sharing Tools

For questions or for more information, email or call Blake Mamich at 720-570-2897 ext. 2.

Help us restore water to Colorado’s rivers and streams through the Request for Water Process today!

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