A coalition of environmental and sportsmen groups today officially endorsed a measure on this fall’s Colorado ballot that would help conserve and protect the state’s water supplies. The coalition includes Conservation Colorado, Environmental Defense Fund, Trout Unlimited, Western Resource Advocates, American Rivers, Business for Water Stewardship, and Colorado Water Trust.

Proposition DD would generate up to $29 million annually for Colorado’s Water Plan by legalizing sports betting and imposing a 10% tax casinos’ profits from sports wagers. The funds would provide an important down payment for water projects statewide that support water conservation, river health, agriculture, and more. These projects are critical to enable Colorado to begin addressing the gap between water supply and demand in the face of a growing population and climate change.

“Water is key to our Colorado way of life, as Coloradans depend on our rivers and streams for drinking water, recreation, and fish and wildlife,” said Kelly Nordini, Conservation Colorado executive director. “We’re pleased to endorse Proposition DD, which is a down payment on funding for these critical priorities. A dedicated funding stream for water in Colorado is even more important as we face a changing climate and a growing population.”

“Water is the lifeblood of Colorado’s economy and way of life, and our state faces a true crisis if we don’t take action to address the growing gap between the water we have and the water we need for the future,” said Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Western Resource Advocates. “If Colorado voters approve this measure, it would provide an important source of funding and help jump start projects that ensure safe drinking water, protect healthy rivers, and safeguard supplies for businesses, agriculture, and recreation.”

“Money, water and wins by the Broncos are scarce, but DD helps link the three in a way that funds, protects and keeps Colorado the state we know and love, with healthy rivers, clean drinking water and abundant recreation,” said Brian Jackson, senior manager of western water at Environmental Defense Fund. “We are hopeful that this measure will be a winner at the ballot box this fall.”

“Trout Unlimited works on a multitude of on-the-ground projects that improve the health of Colorado’s rivers and streams. In these projects, we partner with diverse interests including ranchers, farmers, municipalities, and of course, anglers,” said Drew Peternell, Colorado water project director for Trout Unlimited. “With dedicated funding through Proposition DD, we can ensure that Colorado’s Water Plan is implemented to secure Colorado’s water future for the benefit of our economy and our rivers and streams.”

“Despite the good fortune of a big water year in 2019, we can’t take our foot off the gas in our efforts to fund Colorado’s Water Plan,” said Matt Rice, Colorado Basin director for American Rivers. “Proceeds from Proposition DD will provide a down payment towards a more sustainable and reliable water future – for Colorado’s rivers, for Colorado’s economy, and for families across Colorado. The passage of Proposition DD will help us get there.”

Colorado’s Water Plan estimated the state needs $100 million annually for the next 30 years to address myriad water challenges, including a doubling of the state’s population by 2060. The plan was approved in 2015 after the most extensive public engagement process on water in the state’s history, with comments submitted by more than 30,000 Coloradans.

Thirty years ago, Colorado created a lottery and used its proceeds to pay for parks and open space through the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) program. Proposition DD follows the GOCO model by using proceeds from a tax on casino sports-betting profits to protect and conserve our water resources.

To learn more about Proposition DD, or to send your individual or organizational endorsement, visit: YesonDD.com


Jennifer Talhelm, 505-501-7781, jennifer.talhelm@westernresources.org