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Request for Water 2013

Request for Water 2013
Brian Epstein, a Hydrologist/Hydrographer at the CWCB, measuring streamflows on Deep Creek, August 22, 2012. | Scott Hummer, CWT Projects Manager

Thank you for your interest in Request for Water 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013 is the last day to offer water rights for lease through the Request for Water 2013 program.  

Request for Water is a water leasing program that benefits both water users and the environment.  A 2003 Colorado state statute enables CWT in collaboration with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to lease water for streams on short notice to protect the environment.  This tool for rewatering streams under Colorado’s Instream Flow Program has been available since 2003, but CWT was the first to use the statute to add water to streams during drought conditions in 2012.  CWT intends to lease water for environmental benefits again this year; the March 1st snow report indicates that snowpack is again below average.  Many rivers and streams may see shortages for a second year in a row and for some in Colorado, the dry spell has been much longer.  Request for Water also addresses the financial needs of Colorado's water users by compensating owners for the temporary use of their water rights.  We are excited to offer water users the opportunity to both protect Colorado’s natural heritage and generate revenue—lease your water for instream flow use, receive compensation, and grow a crop of fish habitat.


Important dates and deadlines:

  • Please submit an Offer Form by 5:00pm on March 29, 2013 to be considered in our first round of screening. If you offer water for lease by or before March 29, and your water is formally leased through Request for Water 2013, you will be eligible for a small signing bonus.
  • Please submit an Offer Form by 5:00pm on May 3, 2013 to be considered for the program this year.

Request for Water Process Snapshot:

Here is an overview of the administrative approval process, a series of screens and tests, that offered water rights will move through over the coming days and weeks.  First, we must be sure we can legally and technically lease an offered water right.  If a water right is appropriate for the program, the process becomes public knowledge when the water rights owner, CWT, and the CWCB enter into a lease agreement.











How to learn more about Request for Water 2013:

Webinars.  The CWT Team will host two webinars to explain the details of the program and answer your questions.

  • Friday, March 22, 2013 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm - Watch the recording

  • Monday, April 22, 2013 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

  • Public and town-hall-style meetings.  The CWT Team is working with basin round tables, water districts, land trusts, and other entities and organizations to schedule presentations about the Request for Water 2013 program.  We will post the most up-to-date information here as schedules and agendas are finalized.  Please contact Christine Hartman at 720-570-2897 or chartman@coloradowatertrust.org if you are interested in scheduling a local meeting in your region.

  • March 25, 2012: Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District Board Meeting.
    Board meeting takes place from 5:30pm to 9:30pm.
    Location: District Offices, 210 West Spencer, Suite B, Gunnison, Colorado.

  • Monday, April 15, 2013: Glenwood Springs
    Presentation and discussion from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
    Glenwood Springs Community Center, Room Sopris C
    100 Wulfsohn Road, Glenwood Springs, Colorado  81601

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013: Granby Meeting is CANCELED due to inclement weather
    Presentation and discussion from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
    Granby Library, Community Meeting Room
    55 Zero Street, Granby, Colorado  80446

  • Thursday, April 18, 2013: Steamboat Springs
    Presentation and discussion from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
    Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall
    1289 Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs, Colorado  80487

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013: Salida  Meeting is CANCELED due to inclement weather
    Presentation and discussion from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
    Salida Community Center, upstairs main room
    305 F Street, Salida Colorado  81201

  • What the community is saying about CWT's Request for Water program:

    "Two dry winters in a row have left Colorado's mountains bare and our reservoirs dangerously low.  Dealing with unpredictable weather is part of our way of life in the West, but the long-term effects of this ongoing drought demand that we act now. What can we do to address the challenges severe drought poses to our most precious resource, water, and the waterways local businesses, farmers and residents rely upon? The Colorado Water Trust's short-term leasing program, Request for Water, is one tool that keeps streamflows up during dry times. It is a laudable effort to improve the health of our rivers and streams and benefit water users at the same time."

    - Mark Udall, U.S. Senator for Colorado

    "We are very excited about working with CWT and water users to use this tool to benefit the State’s streams and give water users another option in a potentially difficult year."

    - Linda Bassi, Section Chief of the Stream & Lake Protection Section, CWCB

    "The Colorado Water Trust should be commended and thanked for their outstanding efforts in 2012 to cooperate and collaborate with water users, within the flexibility provided by Colorado water law. Their program supplemented drought affected in-stream flows in a positive manner. Colorado Water Trust’s efforts will be even more important in 2013 as the drought continues to adversely affect stream flows."

    - Eric Wilkinson, General Manager of Northern Water

    "The Colorado Water Trust’s water leasing program is an effective and meaningful mechanism to protect Colorado’s natural environments while ensuring a balance with traditional consumptive water uses. The prospect of temporarily leasing water rights in conjunction with the state’s existing instream flow water program is especially beneficial during times of critical drought. The program provides a potential opportunity for farmers and ranchers to realize economic value for their water assets without having to sell those assets."

    - Eric Kuhn, General Manager of Colorado River District

    Request for Water 2012: Pilot program audit

    When we launched and piloted the Request for Water program last season, we worked quickly to develop the leasing tool and to provide wet water to rivers and streams.  At the end of the season, we hired an independent contractor, the OMNI Institute, to audit the program and to solicit feedback from our constituents.  The executive summary, Request for Water 2012: Final Evaluation Report Executive Summary, is available here for your information.  The Colorado Water Trust team is committed to continuously improving our efforts to benefit both our Colorado community and Colorado’s rivers and streams.  We always welcome your input and comments.

    CWT is seeking fieldwork volunteers across Colorado

    We are looking for fieldwork volunteers to assist us with monitoring the water we will lease this year.  We will not know exactly where we can best use fieldwork volunteers until water leases are approved by the Colorado Division of Water Resources, so we are seeking volunteers across the state.  Read more about volunteering with CWT.