The first Colorado Water Plan was released in 2015 at the direction of then-Governor John Hickenlooper to serve as the state's framework for solutions to the state's water challenges (download original 2015 Water Plan). The Water Plan is a grassroots effort, and relies on the Colorado water community to identify and implement basin-specific and/or statewide water projects that provide multiple benefits to the state's diverse water users. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) creates and manages the Plan's framework, and supports the state's water community with funding and technical resources to implement programs and projects.
In 2020, the Water Plan celebrated its 5th Anniversary, including 76% progress on identified actions and funding for more than 240 water projects across the state - all within just five years.
The next, updated version of the Colorado Water Plan is currently in the development process, set for final release in early 2023. This process included a robust stakeholder engagement process in a scoping phase to consider feedback and concerns with the original plan, followed by an initial drafting phase. The draft plan was released for a 90-day public comment period from June 30 - September 30, 2022 and is expected to be finalized in early 2023.
The 2023 Water Plan vision is focused into four major action areas: Vibrant Communities, Robust Agriculture, Thriving Watersheds, and Resilient Planning.
Quick Water Plan Resources (English and Spanish)
Water Plan Grant Program
Read about grant opportunities from the Colorado Water Plan Grant Program, another way for eligible organizations to get involved with securing Colorado's water future.
Basin Implementation Plans
There are eight smaller, tailored water plans for each major river basin in Colorado, called the Basin Implementation Plans. These have also been updated as of January 2022.