@CWCB_DNR #COWaterPlan update now online

Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013
Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013

Click here to read the document:

Colorado’s Water Plan sets forth the measurable objectives, goals, and critical actions needed to ensure that Colorado can maintain our state’s values into the future. This is an update on implementation progress.

SUPPLY DEMAND GAP

  • Reducing the supply and demand gap is ultimately tied to actions in conservation, storage, land use, and ATMs. Updating the Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) to provide accurate and current technical information for many of these efforts is fundamental to success. The SWSI update process kicked off July 2016.
  • The CWCB and the IBCC are working to revise the Water Supply Reserve Fund criteria and guidelines to explicitly link funding requests to the goals and measureable outcomes identified in the Basin Implementation Plans and Colorado’s Water Plan. This will ensure that our funding decisions are congruent with the goals of Colorado’s Water Plan. Draft criteria and guidelines were presented to the CWCB Board in July and the IBCC in August. Final criteria and guidelines will be presented to the CWCB Board for approval in November.
  • STORAGE

  • The CWCB is financially supporting a variety of storage efforts and innovations, including a study of storage options in the South Platte (required under HB 16- 1256), exploring groundwater storage technology, and conducting a spillway analysis to identify existing storage that could be expanded.
  • Earlier this year, state and federal partners, as well as community stakeholders, completed a Lean event on the water project permitting process. The Lean team is focused on implementing its recommendations to streamline the permitting process while maintaining rigorous environmental protection.
  • CONSERVATION AND LAND USE

  • The CWCB is developing a variety of trainings that will be held over the next couple of years for local governments, utilities, and land use planners to increase water-saving actions and the integration of land use and water planning. The first of the trainings focused on “Breaking Down Silos: Integrating Water into Land Use Planning Webinar Series” was held on September 13th. There were over 100 participants in the webinar. There will be two other webinars and a train-the- trainer session over the next few months.
  • For the Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue, the second exploratory scenario planning workshop was held in July 2016. The Keystone Policy center is working with Denver Water, Aurora Water, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to model the data to quantify the future scenarios.
  • The CWCB is looking at lessons learned from the legislation on indoor watersense fixtures to inform the legislation on outdoor watersense requirements called for in the plan.
  • AGRICULTURE

  • The CWCB and IBCC are hosting an Ag Viability Summit in partnership with the Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA) on November 29. The agenda will include discussions about how to encourage regional planning for system-wide conservation and fleshing out the needs for an ag viability grant program.
  • The CWCB is participating in a workshop at CU on meeting the Alternative Ag Transfer Mechanisms (ATM) goal in Colorado’s Water Plan on October 7th. Discussions will include creative ways to support and facilitate ATM projects. CAWA, the Ditch & Reservoir Company Association, and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association have also been working on ATM education and development.
  • The Arkansas Basin pilot water sharing project with Catlin Canal is in its second year with favorable results that suggest statutory changes aimed at incenting alternatives to buy-and-dry transactions.
  • WATERSHED HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT & RECREATION

  • We are looking at providing an additional $5 million (through the CWCB funding plan) to the Watershed Restoration Program to work with roundtables and stakeholder groups to develop watershed restoration and stream management plans and projects for the priority streams identified in Basin Implementation Plans (BIPs) and other watershed planning documents.
  • The CWCB helped put on workshops at the Colorado Water Congress summer conference in August 2016 on Stream Management Plans: what they are and how to develop one. Another workshop will be hosted on Tuesday, October 11th at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds conference.
  • The CWCB will be including climate change impacts in the SWSI update.
  • EDUCATION

  • The CWCB is working with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education and the One World One Water Center at Metro State University of Denver to develop a proposal for a Water Education Assessment to improve long-term water education program evaluation, identify gaps in water education, and develop case studies of successful programs and best practices to share statewide. The assessment will help align funding with educational priorities statewide.
  • The CWCB created an e-newsletter to update stakeholders on Colorado’s Water Plan implementation and the work of the CWCB Board and staff, IBCC, basin roundtables, and local communities. The next issue will go out the first week of October.
  • INNOVATION

  • The CWCB is working to connect with and create partnerships with the innovation community, including the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and Something Independent, to create pathways for the private sector and the water community to work together to tackle the state’s water challenges and focus on innovating with water data.
  • FUNDING

  • Funding is critical to many of our implementation efforts. The CWCB will continue to align funding decisions with Colorado’s Water Plan. We are developing a 3-5 year funding plan that will create a repayment guarantee fund, bolster the WSRF program, and support several education, conservation, reuse, and agricultural viability actions called for in the plan. The following funding plan is being developed by the CWCB staff, which will seek approvals from the CWCB Board and the legislature through the annual project’s bill, to kick-start water funding for plan implementation:
  • o a one-time investment of up to $50 million (as available) into a repayment guarantee fund;
    o an annual transfer of $10 million for the Water Supply Reserve Fund;
    o an annual transfer of $5 million for the Watershed Restoration Program;
    o and an annual transfer of $10 million for additional non-reimbursable CWCB programming to implement Colorado’s Water Plan.

    USE OF $5 MILLION FROM 2016 PROJECTS BILL

    Of the $5 million transferred in the 2016 Projects Bill to assist in the implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan, staff is recommending the following approximate amounts to the Board for appropriation in 2017:

    $1 million will support efforts with watershed-level flood and drought planning and response;
    $.5 million for grants to provide technical assistance to irrigators for assistance with federal cost-sharing improvement programs;
    $1.2 million for water forecasting and measuring efforts;
    $1.3 million to update reuse regulations as well as to fund a training program for local water providers to better understand AWWA’s methodology for water loss control; and
    $1 million to support the Alternative Agricultural Water Transfer Methods Grant Program.

    CFWE: Collaborative Water Management Tour, Roaring Fork Watershed September 12, 2016

    Map of the Roaring Fork River watershed via the Roaring Fork Conservancy
    Map of the Roaring Fork River watershed via the Roaring Fork Conservancy

    Click here for the inside skinny and to register. Draft agenda. From the website:

    Join the Colorado Foundation for Water Education for a one-day tour of the Roaring Fork Watershed that will showcase exemplary collaborative water management projects. Gain an understanding of how multiple public and private entities are working together on water quality, water quantity, and riparian habitat improvement projects. The itinerary will showcase collaborative stream management plans and water management projects with municipalities, landowners, state and federal agencies, recreationists, watershed groups, and the local community. Tour attendees will get an in-depth look at how water managers and leaders are putting the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan into action.

    stopcollaborateandlistenbusinessblog

    The August 2016 Headwaters Pulse is hot off the presses from CFWE

    headwaterspulse092016cover

    Click here to read the current newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

    Paying for what’s ahead

    Money. We all know it doesn’t grow on trees. As Colorado works to balance funding priorities for public safety programs, human services, transportation, education, and other government spending areas, Coloradans will need to come up with about $20 billion by 2050 for water projects across the state. The question is: How will we do it, and what will it mean for our bank accounts? That $20 billion figure is what the Colorado Water Conservation Board estimates is necessary to implement Colorado’s Water Plan.

    “[The water plan] identifies a lot of solutions for the state and comes with a very high price tag,” says Margaret Bowman, a consultant working with the Water Funder Initiative to develop impact investing in the West. “Now the state’s got to figure out how to finance it.”

    headwaterssummer2016economicscover

    Our summer issue of Headwaters magazine takes an in-depth look at water finance and other aspects of water economics. Click here to read the issue’s feature article “Paying for What’s Ahead” by Headwaters associate editor Caitlin Coleman as she explores traditional water financing mechanisms like bonds, loans and grants, plus new innovative pathways to securing funding through private investors, public-private partnerships, and philanthropic institutions. And read the rest of the issue for more water economics coverage such as water rates, water markets, and other valuation methods that attempt to put a price on an indispensable good.

    Headwaters Summer 2016: Accounting for Water (The Economics Issue)

    headwaterssummer2016economicscover

    Click here to read Headwaters from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. From the website:

    The Summer 2016 issue of Headwaters Magazine examines the economics of water. In addition to looking at water’s role in Colorado’s economy, this issue covers creative funding opportunities to pay for sustainable water infrastructure as well as watershed planning and river restoration. Dive into how water is priced through water markets, rates and valuation methods—including those that account for non-market values—and explore both advantages and considerations in pursuing regionalized, multi-partner projects. Flip through or download the issue here.

    #COWaterPlan: CWFE & CWC August Webinar — Paying for Colorado’s Water Future

    Stagecoach Dam and Reservoir via the Applegate Group
    Stagecoach Dam and Reservoir via the Applegate Group

    Click here to register.

    From the registration page:

    Tue, Aug 16, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT

    Join the Colorado Foundation for Water Education and Colorado Water Congress with support from CoBank on August 16th from 12:00 to 1:00pm, for a timely interactive webinar that explores some of the promising creative funding options available to pay for Colorado’s water future. Learn more about the funding gap, and creative funding mechanisms as discussed by the state finance committee and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Then dive into options, tips and examples of financing through P3s and cooperative partnerships; venture capital and impact investing; and philanthropic donations and investment. We’ll hear about these very real financing ideas and provide a forum to engage in discussion with experts.

    In the face of population growth, Colorado communities are solidifying the work outlined in Colorado’s Water Plan around water storage, infrastructure, education, conservation, and more. Amid new growth, we also face an era of repair, with emerging needs in infrastructure replacement and recovery, environmental and stream management and recovery, recreational needs, and the continued viability of water for agriculture. The water needs of the future may be far different, with more financing needs than we’ve seen to date.

    Where will Colorado find the billions of dollars necessary to fund its water future and pay for what’s ahead?

    Webinar Panelists:
    Eric Hecox, South Metro Water Supply Authority
    Ben McConahey, Hydro Venture Partners
    April Montgomery, The Telluride Foundation and CWCB Board Member

    CFWE: 2016 Stormwater Educator Workshop — Glenwood Springs

    Glenwood Springs via Wikipedia
    Glenwood Springs via Wikipedia

    Click here to go to the CFWE website and register:

    The Water Educator Network is partnering with Earth Force and Denver Public Works to bring a flagship stormwater educator workshop to all corners of the state. This full-day professional development workshop combines training in Earth Force’s six-step Community Action and Problem Solving Process, with water quality monitoring protocols.The day will also include a storm drain hunt, hands-on use of enviroscape model, individual unit lesson-planning time, in-stream data collection, and potentially expert volunteer visits from engineers and scientists. Each participant will go home with a Colorado-specific activity guide and access to on-going assistance and resources to use with middle and high school students and adult community audiences. Continuing education credit certificates available for educators.

    When: July 7th, 2016 9:00 AM through 4:00 PM
    Location: 1521 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs

    #COWaterPlan: South Platte Basin Ag Producers and Water Managers Workshop July 13

    Ag Workshop South Platte Flyer 07132016

    Click here to register. Click here for all the inside skinny.