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Funding Colorado’s Water Plan - What is Proposition DD?

Posted: 10/15/2019
By: Hattie Johnson and Ian Stafford

Although many individuals are already focused on 2020, there is an important election taking place in Colorado in 2019. This year's ballot will be slimmer than others, but there is a proposition that is critical to funding the Colorado Water Plan. Proposition DD is a tax on casinos in the state for sports gambling that will provide a down payment of funding to Colorado's Water Plan, and is a ballot measure that American Whitewater has endorsed. 

●      Proposition DD would provide an annual revenue of $15 million - $29 million. The revenue generated will provide critical resources to protect and restore Colorado rivers, through the water plan grants.. This will provide critical grant funding to healthy river programs across the state.

●      American Whitewater is currently using Water Plan funding through a grant administered by the CWCB to fill data gaps in streamflow needs for recreation in the Rio Grande River Basin. This work is a part of the Stream Management Planning process, a directive of the Water Plan.

●      Conservation and outdoor industry groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Colorado, Western Resource Advocates, and Outdoor Industry Association endorse this proposition.

●      The Colorado Water Plan is an incredibly collaborative endeavor with massive public input, including hundreds of stakeholders and over 30,000 comments.The Colorado Water Plan sets out Colorado's goals and measurable objectives for the future of water in the state.

The state of Colorado will double its population by the year 2050, and we must be able to prepare for more people with diminishing water supplies. Funding the Colorado Water Plan will allow us to be ready for the changes that will face our state. Proposition DD provides a necessary kick start to help fund projects for the future. American Whitewater understands there is more work ahead, but Proposition DD provides a step in the right direction. We will, as always, continue to stand for the protection and restoration of rivers throughout the state.

Photo: Rio Grande Box Canyon near Rio Grande Reservoir Credit: Hattie Johnson

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Colorado's Statewide Water Supply Initiative may very well determine the fate of Colorado's whitewater rivers by dictating how much water can be removed from rivers to serve a growing population.


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