Pioneering New Tools: First Water Conservation Program
A new partnership between the Water Trust and a water user, Witt Caruthers, on Willow Creek was featured in a recent article in The Denver Post. The project uses another never-before-used tool, this time one created by the state legislature in 2013 to allow a water user to cut back on use without incurring century-old legal penalties. The specific location, priority and other details of these water rights matched the intention of the protections created under Senate Bill 2013-019 and made it a model project to pilot this unused, new mechanism that will conserve flows and protect the fishery in Willow Creek and the Colorado River by ceasing diversions during certain low flow conditions.
One of the owners, Witt, had this to say about the project: "Colorado's water system created an incentive to use our water even in times when it's not absolutely necessary. When you're under that pressure to use it or lose it, you're almost forced to abuse it. That's to the detriment of all," Caruthers said.
He and his partners turned to the Colorado Water Trust to take advantage of the new law. Without it, he said, "You're caught between taking what you need and taking what you are entitled to."
Read the full article from The Denver Post to learn more about the first Water Conservation Program approved in the state.