The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) supports watershed planning as well as projects designed and constructed to restore and protect watersheds.
The CWCB partners with numerous organizations to plan and undertake multi-objective projects designed to reduce flood hazards, stabilize and restore stream channels, provide habitat, reduce erosion, increase the capacity to utilize water, and protect the ecological processes that connect land and water. Inter- and intra-agency coordination, communication and prioritization are essential components of the CWCB’s efforts.
Specifically, the CWCB supports watershed protection and restoration efforts through the administration of the programs listed below.
Colorado Water Plan Grant Program
The Watershed Health and Recreation category within the Colorado Water Plan Grants provides grant funding for watershed and stream restoration, flood hazard mitigation, Stream Management Plans, Fluvial Hazard Zone mapping, Wildfire Ready Watersheds planning, recreational enhancement planning and implementation, and monitoring.
Wildfire Ready Watersheds
The Wildfire Ready Watersheds program seeks to provide high-level guidance for helping communities predict how post-fire impacts will affect downstream assets. Importantly, this program also aims to identify actions that may be taken to reduce the impact of wildfires on infrastructure and natural resources – both before, and after, a wildfire occurs.
Colorado Watershed Restoration Grant Program
Coming soon: As directed by House Bill 21-1379, special funding release guidance will become available December 2022.
Colorado Fluvial Hazard Zone Program
In the aftermath of the 2013 flood devastation, CWCB developed the Colorado Fluvial Hazard Zone Program to help communities better identify, map, and plan for the flood hazards associated with erosion, sediment deposition, and other dynamic river processes. This program is intended to be used both for high flow events resulting from rainfall and snowmelt and also for floods after wildfires.
Disaster Recovery Resources
The CWCB has partnered with Enginuity since November 2020 to support the Colorado Watershed Restoration Program with additional resources for grantees as well as wildfire and flood analysis, fluvial hazard zone program implementation, project monitoring and adaptive management, and overall program support.
Visit the CWCB Disaster Recovery website for more information on federal and state funding to address widespread watershed damage and recovery. Many of the resources on this website can be applied to other watershed health and stream restoration efforts.
Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund
The Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund provides funding for on-the-ground projects that promote cleaner water, healthier wildlife habitat, and improved recreation throughout Colorado. It is administered through CWCB in association with the Water Quality Control Division and the Colorado Watershed Assembly.