Proposed Agreement Will Change the Way Water Is Managed in Colorado

Posted by RMPBS

Leaders from Grand, Summit and Eagle counties recently stood with Gov. John Hickenlooper and representatives from Denver Water, the Colorado River District and other water interests to announce a historic proposed agreement: the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.

This proposed agreement will change the way water is managed in Colorado. 

Focused on cooperation, the proposed agreement brings parties who traditionally have been at odds together as partners on a path to responsible water development benefitting both the East and West Slopes. It achieves better environmental health for the Colorado River Basin, maintains high-quality recreational use and improves economics for many cities, counties and businesses impacted by the river. 

The proposed agreement, which was five years in the making, will now be considered by towns, counties, and water entities from the headwaters to the Utah state line. 

With 34 partners stretching from Grand Junction to the Denver metro area, the proposed agreement is the largest of its kind in the history of the state. In addition to its benefits for Denver Water and the West Slope, the proposed agreement will trigger a major water-sharing and conservation arrangement between Denver Water, Aurora Water and water providers in the South Denver metro area. 

Taken as a whole, these landmark agreements mark the most significant change Colorado has seen in how the state’s water resources are managed. The comprehensive proposed agreement focuses on significantly enhancing the environmental health of much of the Colorado River Basin and its tributaries, as well as supporting many West Slope cities, towns, counties and water providers as they work to improve the quality and quantity of water through new municipal water projects and river management initiatives. 

In exchange for environmental enhancements, including financial support for municipal water projects and providing additional water supply and service area restrictions, the agreement will remove opposition to Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System Project.

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