Water Project Loan Program

Three images: A rehabilitated dam spillway with straw covered landscaping, a backhoe on a mound of dirt in a lake with mountains in the background, and a closeup of the cab of a large yellow dump truck on a construction site.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Water Project Loan Program provides low-interest loans for the design and construction of agricultural, municipal and hydro projects in Colorado. A minimum loan request of $100,000 is recommended. 

Projects financed by the Water Project Loan Program must align with the goals identified in Colorado’s Water Plan and its measurable objectives.



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Restricted Reservoirs

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The standard loan term is 30 years. Rates are reduced by 0.25% for 20-year loans, and by 0.90% for 10-year loans. Rates are increased by 0.25% for 40-year loans. Calculate annual payments based on principal, interest and term using the Loan Calculator.

Note: 1.0% will be charged on the loan amount as a loan service fee.



Frequently Asked Questions 

Who Can Apply?

Any private or public entity that can contract with the state and that can establish and document the need for the project. The project sponsor must show that the project is technically, economically, institutionally and financially feasible.

How can the money be used?

Eligible projects for financing include new construction or rehabilitation of storage and delivery facilities, such as:

  • Reservoirs
  • Ditches and canals
  • Pipelines
  • Diversion structures
  • Groundwater wells
  • Water rights purchases
  • Flood control projects 
  • Hydropower

How to Apply

Before applying for a Water Project Loan, contact Matt Stearns (303-866-3441 x3257 or matthew.stearns@state.co.us) to discuss the project, schedules and deadlines, and the program requirements.

To submit an application, request a registration on the CWCB Portal. It may take 1-2 days for the registration to be approved, and a notification of approval will be sent via email. In addition to completing the online application through the Portal, a Loan Feasibility Study must be uploaded to the Portal.

Staff will review the Loan Feasibility Study and will make a recommendation to the Board regarding the project and loan.

Loans recommended for funding will be presented by staff to the Board. Borrowers should attend the Board meeting.

Following the board meeting, borrowers will work with the CWCB through a contracting process. Once a contract is executed, funds are available and the project can proceed.

When to Apply

Requests for less than $10 million: Applications may be submitted throughout the year. A typical loan of less than $10 million can be processed in four to five months from submittal of the application and the loan feasibility study to the day funds are available. ­

Requests for more than $10 millionApplications must be submitted by August 1 to be considered for CWCB approval at the November CWCB Board meeting. Funds are available the following July 1, after approval by the legislature and execution of a loan contract.



After loan approval, what is the process to enter into a contract? 

Shareholder Resolution

Shareholder Resolution (if required): Corporate entities must provide director and shareholder resolutions authorizing the indebtedness. Government entities must comply with all required processes, including holding elections to approve project expenditures if necessary.

Contract Execution

A CWCB staff member will prepare the loan contract (typical example contracts - Private or Public). No state funding can be provided until a signed state contract is executed. In addition, an attorney opinion letter is required.

Borrower Forms

The borrower must submit the following forms prior to disbursement of CWCB funds:

Design and Construction

The CWCB Design and Construction Manager also will contact the borrower to begin discussing the process, including:

What is the process during construction to receive loan funds?

The CWCB Design and Construction Manager will work with the borrower to discuss the project schedule, “Need Funding” date, and project contacts.

During construction, the borrower will submit a pay request letter with invoices attached. CWCB will disburse funds based on actual work completed and invoiced.

Design/Construction process (sample bidding and construction documents)

What is the process to repay the loan?

At the end of project construction and following issuance of a “Letter of Substantial Completion” by the Design and Construction Manager and payment of the Interest During Construction (IDC) owed, the project sponsor will begin making permanent annual loan payments. 


Loan Projects Document Search

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