Text Size

Site Search

Headwaters Archive

Coalition Seeks Federal Dollars to Help Protect Colorado Rivers

DENVER—Colorado watershed groups have joined together with similar organizations in Utah and Montana to help bring federal dollars into the Rocky Mountain West for the protection of headwaters rivers and streams.

In January the Colorado Water Conservation Board is scheduled to review a proposed resolution to support this federally-funded regional initiative to help watershed groups implement water conservation projects throughout Colorado.

Supporters of the plan note that although Colorado’s rivers supply water to 19 states and Mexico, there are scant resources available to protect and maintain that water supply. Similar coalitions throughout the country have been established to protect regional bodies of water such as the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, and are currently receiving federal funding.

However, building the necessary political momentum for what could be a more than $20 million funding request could be difficult for Western states because they lack the political clout of Eastern states and because the group would not focus on one specific water body, observers say. Existing bills still in committee in Congress, such as the National Drought Preparedness Act or Water 2025, could be used as a vehicle for this proposal. However, a variety of options are currently being investigated.

Colorado has more than 40 local watershed protection groups working side-by-side with government agencies and regional water districts to address a variety of issues including irrigation diversion improvements, stream and floodplain restoration, water conservation, habitat protection, water quality, acid mine drainage and community education and outreach. They receive some state and federal funding but need a higher profile and more money to be successful, supporters say.

Compacts Resources

Guide to Interstate Compacts explore how our water-sharing compact agreements were first created, how they succeed and fail, and how they have fostered enduring relationships among bordering states. Read or purchase the Citizen's Guide to Colorado's Interstate Compacts.

2ndeditioncoversmallCompact Articles Over time WEco has published a variety of articles on different compacts. Browse the selected articles below to learn more about:

Water History Resources

Guide to Colorado's Water Heritage Explore how water shaped Colorado history, culture and identity. Read the water heritage guide.

water heritage guide

Guide to Colorado's Environmental Era Continue the journey through time to explore more recent years and see how the environmental movement has shaped Colorado's culture, communities and landscapes. Read, download, or purchase the environmental era guide.

Join Water Education Colorado

Become a Member or Make a Donation

Support for Water Education Colorado is tax-deductible and provides numerous benefits, including discounts on publications and event registrations. Your membership supports development of new publications, outreach efforts across the state, and critical operational needs.

CO River Report & Webinar

webinarcobasin

On April 14, CFWE, in partnership with CoBank, hosted a webinar "Managing the Colorado River in the 21st Century." Access a recording of the webinar here or download a PDF of the presentations here.

CORiverReportcover

A report on the Colorado River Basin released in partnership between CFWE and CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Division is available to read and download here

  
watereducationcowebsite
 
1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218
 
303-377-4433