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Colorado's public lands are faced with new challenges but water and land management depend on working together. Read about the relationship between water and land in Colorado and how Coloradans are converging to restore Colorado's public lands in the Spring 2018 issue of Headwaters magazine.

Browse articles and find a flipbook of the magazine here.

Connecting the Drops

connectingdropslogo4.1Bringing you the reporting you crave over the radio airways with extras and archives on our website. Visit the audio archives or listen to the latest story on the connection between Colorado's forests, watersheds, and forest fires:

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Water Education Colorado

Funding mechanisms for projects and programs

By Eryn Gable

Many of the projects and programs for implementing the recommendations of the roundtable's needs assessments will be funded by individual water providers, but opportunities for funding also exist through grants and loans from the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

The Water Supply Reserve Account, created by SB 06-179, was authorized to provide $10 million annually — although the account received $3 million to $4 million less the past two years -- through the state's Severance Tax Trust Fund for both water supply projects and environmental projects or studies. Funding requests go through the basin roundtables, and, if approved, are forwarded to the CWCB for final decision.

The CWCB also oversees the Alternative Agricultural Water Transfer Methods Grant Program, which supports alternatives to the traditional transfer of agricultural water to municipal and industrial purposes. The program currently assists projects on the Front Range, but will extend statewide and proffer an additional $1.5 million in grants if CWCB's annual projects bill passes in its present form this legislative session.

The CWCB's Water Project Loan Program provides low-interest loans to agricultural, municipal and commercial borrowers to develop water projects in Colorado, including reservoirs, ditches, canals, pipelines, diversion structures, wells, water rights purchases and flood control projects. The CWCB can finance as much as 90 percent of the total project costs, including engineering and construction. Approximately $60 million is available each year for new loans, and loan requests over $10 million must be authorized by the Legislature.

‘The hope is that as roundtables identify projects to meet their needs, those that need additional funding to get off the ground will qualify for a loan or get grant funding through the Water Supply Reserve Account,’ says the CWCB's Intrastate Water Management and Development section chief Eric Hecox.

Jay Winner, general manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, predicts many projects will receive a mix of financing. ‘I think it will be a combination of municipal, public and private partnerships,’ he says. ‘That's the only way you can do it in the economic environment we have today.’

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