The 2023 Colorado Water Plan was adopted by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in January 2023 and serves as a framework for statewide collaboration around water planning. The Colorado Water Plan guides future decision-making and supports local actions to address water challenges with a collaborative, balanced, and solution-oriented approach that builds resilience. The Colorado Water Plan includes actions in four main focus areas that work together for a stronger state: Vibrant Communities, Robust Agriculture, Thriving Watersheds, and Resilient Planning.
First released in 2015, the Water Plan provides a comprehensive framework to guide collaborative action from water partners, agencies, and Coloradans. From securing supplies that provide safe drinking water to improving farm irrigation to rehabilitating streams—the 2023 Water Plan targets specific, key actions to contribute to a stronger, more water-resilient Colorado.
“In Colorado, water is life,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis. “Colorado’s Water Plan sets a vision for vibrant communities, successful farming and ranching, thriving watersheds, and climate resilient planning. I’m excited to see how the updated plan supports a more resilient future here in Colorado for years to come.”
Governor Polis championed approval of $17 million this year to kick-start local-level implementation of the Water Plan and is proposing $25.2M, including $12.6M General Fund, for the Water Plan Grant Program, which supports statewide water projects by providing grants and loans in collaboration with local partners in his FY 2023-2024 budget.
The 2023 update maintains the values and priorities of the original plan, while reframing actions into four key areas: Vibrant Communities, Robust Agriculture, Thriving Watersheds, and Resilient Planning. Within these four interconnected areas, a list of approximately 50 actions for partners and 50 actions for the state aim to address themes such as equity, climate resilience, water conservation, land use, education, and more. The Water Plan Grant Program welcomes projects and programs that fall in five major funding categories: Water Storage and Supply, Conservation & Land Use, Engagement & Innovation, Agricultural projects, and Watershed Health & Recreation.
Colorado’s water challenges impact everyone from local leaders to stakeholders to families in their own backyards. The CWCB encourages people from all walks of life to get involved with Colorado’s Water Plan: whether that’s by practicing personal water conservation, getting involved in critical water initiatives—or applying for a Water Plan grant or encouraging local organizations to pursue a grant to advance projects that build water resilience.
This is information was provided by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Learn more about the 2023 Colorado Water Plan at https://cwcb.colorado.gov/colorado-water-plan.