Thanks to WRA’s successful advocacy, we secured the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s continued support for Colorado’s instream flow water rights program which protects water in rivers for the benefit of fish, wildlife and the larger environment. WRA worked with the Board not to reduce or “carve out” water for speculative diversion and development from water currently dedicated to fish and wildlife.
WRA spearheaded the effort to secure funding for a water reuse project that will help to increase water reuse in Colorado. The project received a commitment of $300,000 from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, several cities, and others. More reuse of existing supplies helps keep more water in our rivers!
WRA and its partners successfully redrafted the Water Rights Protection Act to include language protecting bypass flows at dams and diversions on public lands. This important legislation will protect fish and wildlife by ensuring bypass flows around or through dams and diversions on public lands. This is an important win for fish and wildlife!
The activity of water users can impact the temperature of our rivers (e.g., taking water out and putting it back in at a different temperature). When rivers get too hot or too cold, fish and other aquatic life can die. Based on information and input from WRA and its partners, the Water Quality Control Commission rejected proposed changes that would have weakened standards for water temperatures statewide. Avoiding the changes benefits fish, anglers, and local recreation economies across the state.
WRA attorneys succeeded in securing a water right decree permanently protecting nearly six miles of Schaefer Creek, a gorgeous stream in Colorado’s high country north of the West Elk Wilderness near Crested Butte.
WRA provided water conservation guidance and templates to the Town Manager and other key staff of Camp Verde to help implement conservation policies. This new work allows the Town to save water in the Verde River through making changes to the landscape ordinance, developing WaterSense and water waste ordinances, and developing water conservation guidelines for new development.
WRA’s advocacy led to Governor Ducey’s Water Augmentation Council strengthening support for increasing water conservation, water reuse, and ensuring water for the environment to help address future Colorado River water supply reductions.
WRA, joined by partner conservation groups, gained support from Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma agriculture on a package of options to avoid water shortage in Arizona. The State and other stakeholders now have a plan to decrease their use by 1.2 million acre-feet over the next several years.