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Colorado Voters Pass Proposition DD to fund the Water Plan!

Posted: 11/07/2019
by Ian Stafford

Voting day has come and gone. The mailings, text reminders, and campaign signs have all (for the most part) been put away for a brief period of time. We, like the rest of you, were excited to submit our ballots and wear our "I voted" stickers proudly on Tuesday. We were even happier on Wednesday when we found out the Prop DD passed!

We had discussions with many members across the state about how Proposition DD could benefit all of us who love rivers. With DD on the books, we want to address members around the state and country about what this means. The state of Colorado has legalized sports gambling, and will see a 10% tax be placed on proceeds from sports betting here in the state. The way the numbers break down in terms of how revenue will be dispersed…

  • $130,000 to aid in addiction services
  • $1.7 million in a hold harmless fund (to protect casinos from loses)
  • The rest of the tax funding will go to provide funding for the Colorado Water Plan

The Colorado Water Plan provides a roadmap of collaboration for the future of Colorado's rivers. Proposition DD will provide a critical down payment on the Water Plan. The language in Proposition DD did not identify exact projects the revenue would fund because the strategic planning structures outlined in the Water Plan are still in process. We are involved in many of these processes around the state. It's important to recognize that prioritization of the funding is still in progress and the sideboards provided by the Water Plan will ensure the broad water interests, including recreation and the environment, have a seat at the table. This is why it is important that we have our staff on the ground spreading our message, advocating for river health, and ensuring that the $9 billion river recreation industry here in Colorado is protected. 

American Whitewater endorsed Proposition DD for the following reasons:

  • Proposition DD will provide an annual revenue of $15 million - $29 million to provide critical grant funding for watershed health across the state.
  • The Colorado Water Plan is a proactive measure that is seeking to responsibly address water issues for a state that expected to double its population in the next 30 years while climate change reduces water supply.
  • The Colorado Water Plan was developed collaboratively with massive public input, including hundreds of stakeholders and over 30,000 comments.
  • American Whitewater is already 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.
  • Trusted organizations and allies in the conservation and outdoor industry share a common belief that this plan is imperative for the future of water in the state.




American Whitewater
Ian Stafford
Boulder, CO 80305