CWT Request for Water program recap: ‘We needed senior water rights that would still yield some water even in a really dry year’ — Zach Smith #CODrought

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From KUNC (Aspen Public Radio and Marci Krivonen):

The so-called “Request for Water” initiative called on water rights holders to voluntarily give up unused water for the health of streams.

“We needed senior water rights that would still yield some water even in a really dry year, and we didn’t know how many people would be willing to do it because we’d never really done anything like this before,” says Colorado Water Trust staff attorney Zach Smith.

The Colorado Water Trust jump-started the water leasing program from a 10-year-old, never-used law. Extreme drought conditions this year forced down stream flows and warmed up water, threatening fish. So, the group came up with a solution…

The Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District offered to lease 4-thousand acre feet of water from a nearby reservoir…

The Water Trust paid for the water ranchers, districts and other entities that stepped up to offer. Overall, the program added water to more than 190 stream and river miles this summer.

More water law coverage here.

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