Governor Polis Colorado Water Plan

Newly Secured Water Right Will Protect and Enhance Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in Glenwood Springs

Western Resource Advocates and American Whitewater supported the city’s efforts to increase protection for a suite of river flows in the Colorado River


The City of Glenwood Springs is excited to announce news that water court approved a Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD) recreational water right on the Colorado River for the city, enabled through agreements with Front Range cities and others. The water rights are a significant step in the right direction for protecting the river and will contribute to Glenwood Springs’ thriving outdoor economy. This is the second-ever recreational water right for the mainstem Colorado River. This news was also welcomed by Western Resource Advocates (WRA) and American Whitewater who have worked for years to support the city’s efforts to secure the recreational water rights.

The newly obtained water rights protect a suite of river flows throughout the summer, including higher flows for an event around the Fourth of July. The agreement also allows the city to create whitewater parks at three locations along the Colorado River. The parks could support numerous water-based activities, including rafting, tubing, kayaking, and boating.

“These new water rights are the culmination of years of work by the City. The journey began over nine years ago and represents a continuing vision by City leadership and staff to protect and preserve our recreation industry and the Colorado River,” said Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes. “We are grateful to the support of partners and look forward to taking the next steps in this exciting opportunity.”

“This agreement is an important step forward for the city of Glenwood Springs,” said Bart Miller, WRA’s Healthy Rivers Program director. “These new rights will support whitewater festivals in late June and early July when the area is one of the most popular places in Colorado for rafting, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. This is great news for Glenwood Springs’ economy and all who enjoy experiencing Colorado whitewater and shows how healthy rivers can work in concert with meeting future water needs by a range of interests.”

“Glenwood Springs has fought long and hard for this incredible victory for river recreation,” said Hattie Johnson, Southern Rockies stewardship director for American Whitewater. “The Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon is an iconic stretch of whitewater that attracts residents and visitors from far and wide. This was an important case to ensure the Colorado River, the heart of the Glenwood Springs community, will continue to be enjoyed well into the future.”


Jamie Trafficanda, 720-763-3737,

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