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Take Action TODAY to Support Healthy Rivers in Colorado!

Posted: 03/07/2014
by Nathan Fey

Colorado - The first of its kind State Water Plan is an important step in deciding if Colorado preserves free-flowing rivers, fish and wildlife, and strong tourism and recreation economies. AW and our partners have proposed common-sense conservation actions to be included in the Plan. You can help support this effort by submitting comments to the State, and help shape a positive course for river health.


Last year, Governor Hickenlooper directed the state to draft the Colorado Water Plan. Faced with tremendous population growth in a semi-arid region, the Plan attempts to address the looming "gap" between statewide water supply and demand. By 2022, our water demands will outpace available water supplies. Low stream flows directly threaten wildlife, and the $10 billion dollar per year recreation industry in Colorado. Kayaking, rafting, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing: these activities are a large part not only of our economy, but of who we are.

78% of Colorado Residents recetly polled prefer "using our current water supply more wisely, by encouraging more water conservation, reducing use, and increasing recycling of water" rather than "diverting more water from rivers in less populated areas of the state to communities where more people live" - Colorado College

As paddlers, we love rivers that run free and provide opportunities to connect with family and friends, enjoy Colorado's scenic landscapes and wildlife, and support our local economies. But right now, the State Water Plan is not addressing the needs of recreation or the sustainability of our environment.

Fortunately there are common sense conservation actions that can address our looming water shortage. Through greater efficiency, incentives, and wise use of our limited water resources, we can provide water not only for people, but for the recreational and ecosystem needs that depend upon clean flowing rivers as well. As the Governor's executive order stated, the Plan needs to focus on "a strong environment that includes healthy watersheds, rivers and streams, and wildlife."

Gov. Hickenlooper has also recently noted that we are in a “water crisis” but the crisis isn’t just about supply and demand.  We need to make sure our rivers don’t run dry. The Governor has taken some important first steps—but he can't solve Colorado's impending water crisis alone. He needs proof that he has a groundswell of public support. That's where you come in!


We've put together a draft e-mail that you can customize, telling the State that the Colorado Water Plan needs to foster greater cooperation, and advance essential conservation actions that will help improve the health of our communities and sustain the world-class recreational opportunities that you enjoy.

Your comments are needed BEFORE MARCH 19TH, when the Colorado Water Conservation Board will report on the public's expectations of the Water Plan. Please take a minute and add your voice to the conversation.

More information on Colorado's Water Plan can be found here.

These links can help you learn more about the Conservation Essentials that AW and our partners have developed, or the Position and Principles that we are advancing under the Plan.




Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601

Associated Projects

Colorado SWSI (CO)
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.