Text Version of the Technical Update Findings Slides


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Technical Update/Agricultural Findings

  1. Demand for groundwater is approximately 19 percent of the overall demand. Groundwater demands occur primarily in the Arkansas, Republican, Rio Grande, and South Platte basins where irrigation from wells is prominent.

  2. Based on known agricultural water transfers currently in water court of deemed to be highly likely by agricultural stakeholders, the estimates of planned buy and dry transfers in the Technical Update (33,000-76,000 acres) are almost three times higher on the upper end than the data that informed the Water Plan (26,200 acres).

  3. In all basins where significant agriculture comes out of production, diversion demands will go down due to the decrease in irrigation even as the plant demand for irrigation (were those lands to be irrigated) increases.

  4. On average, approximately 80 percent of the overall agricultural diversion demand is currently met (and 20 percent is unmet) on a statewide basis, though this varies in each basin.

Technical Update/M&I Findings

  1. Municipal & Industrial (M&I) demands comprise approximately 10 percent of the combined agricultural and M&I statewide demands that are currently met with existing water supplies and projects.

  2. On average, SSI demands account for 13 percent of the total M&I demands. This includes snowmaking; and thermoelectric, energy development, and large industrial users.

  3. Per capita baseline system demand has decreased from 172 to 164 gpcd--a 5 percent reduction in demands between 2008 - 2015.

  4. "Adaptive Innovation" shows a 13 percent decrease in gpcd (from 164 to 143 gpcd) compared to current conditions. Total municipal demand in "Adaptive Innovation" tracks closely with "Business as Usual." This highlights how social values that prioritize water conservation and water saving technologies could help mitigate impacts from climate and population.

Technical Update/E&R Findings

  1. Projected future streamflow hy7drographs in most locations across the state show potentially drier conditions in the late summer months under scenarios with climate change that suggest air temperatures could increase by 3.78°F to 4.15°F by 2050.

  2. Instream Flow (ISF) and recreational in-channel diversions (RICD) water rights may be met less often in climate-impacted scenarios that see more consistent temperature increases and more variable precipitation and runoff conditions.

  3. Peak runoff may shift as much as one month earlier, which could lead to drier conditions in summer months and produce multiple implications for storage, irrigation and streamflow.

  4. Under climate change scenarios, runoff and peak flows may occur earlier, and result in possible mismatches between peak flow timing and species' needs. Drier conditions in late summer months could increase risk to coldwater and warmwater fish due to higher water temperatures and reduced habitat.