Hickenlooper Orders Colorado Agencies, Including Roundtables, to Create Water Plan

Governor Hickenlooper issued an Executive Order on May 15th directing the state to work on a new Colorado Water Plan to determine how to secure enough water supplies to meet urban and rural demands. A 2010 report from the Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) forecasts that the gap between water supplies and demand in the state would be more than 500,000 acre feet by 2050. As such, the governor directed the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to start work a draft plan, stating that, “Colorado deserves a plan for its water future use that aligns the state’s many and varied water efforts and streamlines the regulatory processes.”
The order said the CWCB will work with the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) and Basin Roundtables (established by HouseBill05-1177), which have worked for the past eight years to engage in a visioning process and to discuss long-standing intrabasin and interbasin challenges by defining portfolios, scenarios, and strategies. These efforts have produced informed discussions, provided a forum for building consensus, and generated momentum that the Colorado Water Plan should utilize. In addition, the CWCB is directed to work with sister agencies in the Colorado: Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Health and Environment, Energy Office, and the Water Resources and Power Development Authority.
“Throughout our state’s history, other water plans have been created by federal agencies or for the purpose of obtaining federal dollars,” the order stated. “We embark on Colorado’s first water plan written by Coloradans, for Coloradans. Nevertheless, our past and current data and studies will aid in developing a plan for the future.”