‘The IBCC and the nine Basin Roundtables have embarked on a scenario planning and adaptive management process’ — John Stulp

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The IBCC report to state legislators is hot off the press. You can download a copy from the Colorado Water Conservation Board website. Here’s Director Stulp’s introduction:

I am happy to report that 2012 has been a busy and productive year for the Interbasin Compact Process. In last year’s report, we highlighted the completion of SWSI 2010 and nine basin reports. Over the course of the last year, the IBCC and the nine Basin Roundtables have embarked on a scenario planning and adaptive management process.There is general agreement that to meet the State’s future municipal and industrial demands while protecting our agricultural, environmental and recreational values, there are no easy solutions and we need to pursue all types of projects and methods to meet these needs. Four major sources of water supply have been identified as solutions for meeting Colorado’s future water demands:

 Municipal and Industrial Conservation
 Agricultural Transfers
 New Supply Development
 Implementation of Water Providers’ Projects (IPPs)

To ensure grassroots input in developing statewide solutions, each roundtable was asked to develop one or more statewide portfolios (different combinations of strategies to address future M&I demands) using the portfolio and tradeoff tool. With nearly 40 portfolios developed by the Basin Roundtables, the IBCC recognizes that we must plan for a variety of possible futures and is now considering how the various portfolios perform under 5 different scenarios. Through the process with the Roundtables and the IBCC, I have been extremely impressed with the substantive conversations that have occurred within and amongst members of the Roundtables, IBCC and others. In March, the Basin Roundtable Summit was a tremendous success where over 300 participants shared ideas and perspectives on the process. Many Roundtables are currently having meaningful conversations with other roundtables on the topic of municipal water conservation and how this important “leg of the stool” can be used to help meet Colorado’s water supply Gap.

In the near future, we will begin working closely with the Basin Roundtables to begin the development of basin plans. This effort will continue to refine each basin’s consumptive and nonconsumptive needs, available water supplies, and develop in-basin projects and methods to meet their water supply gaps. Staff is currently working with the Basin Roundtables to encourage strategic implementation of projects through the use of funding sources such as the CWCB loan program, the WSRA program, and several CWCB grant programs for nonconsumptive projects.

The CWCB is on a 6-year planning cycle for assessing Colorado’s long-term consumptive and nonconsumptive water needs with a scheduled update to SWSI in 2016. In addition, the Governor asked that a State Water Plan be developed based on scenario/portfolio work, SWSI, and the work associated with both short-term and long-term projects and methods. This effort will be a partnership between the CWCB, the IBCC, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Basin Roundtables, and other stakeholders who come together as a state to collaboratively address Colorado’s water supply challenges. Key components of SWSI 2016 and the State Water Plan will include the following:

 Adoption and implementation of the SWSI 2010 recommendations work plan.
 Evaluation of the SWSI 2016 approach and methodology —including the methodology for future gap calculations —with the involvement of the CWCB, IBCC, and the Basin Roundtables
 Closing the existing consumptive and nonconsumptive water supply gaps through the implementation of both short-term and long-term projects and methods identified by the Basin Roundtables.

Another key component of SWSI 2016 and the State Water Plan will be a focus on how we can collaboratively address implementation elements that will be needed to address our future water supply needs and challenges. Using an adaptive management plan approach will allow for a flexible implementation plan that addresses future uncertainties. The scenario planning effort being led by the IBCC will be utilized to develop the adaptive management plan. The drought impacts we have seen across Colorado this year sends a strong message of how important strategic water planning is to protect our economy and citizens. This report summarizes the work and countless hours invested by staff and the citizens throughout the state that serve on the IBCC and Basin Roundtables.

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The CWCB has also released their Water Supply Reserve Account Annual Report. From the report:

Water Supply Reserve Account projects have been approved across the entire state [click on the thumbnail graphic for the map]. The WSRA Criteria and Guidelines split the Account into Basin and Statewide Funds. Each Basin Account has received $1,662,829 to date.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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