What to Know About the Governor’s Wildly Important Goal for Water

Governor Polis set a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) for Fiscal Year 2020/2021 to identify at least 500 water projects across the state that are ready or near-ready to launch. However, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) will continue to support and fund projects at all levels of readiness that help meet Water Plan objectives - including developing and conceptual projects still in the works. The WIG, however, will not affect how the CWCB supports projects at all levels, including feasibility efforts through project implementation, and for all Water Plan categories.   

Given current budget challenges amid the pandemic, having justifiable project costs is increasingly important to help support basin-level water planning for watersheds, farms and cities. Here are some things you should know about the WIG:

  1. Projects do not need to be counted toward the WIG goal to receive funding. Projects ultimately need a project proponent to bring them forward to obtain funding. The WIG does not guarantee nor provide funding. The WIG is an additional overlay on the work the state is already doing, and does not change the current process for grant applicants or create any new efforts.
  2. There is no limit on how many projects or what kinds of projects go into each tier. The CWCB and basin roundtables will use this WIG as a tool to understand the total costs for projects across the state that have been vetted, have good data and are ready, or nearly ready, to begin. Having better cost and project information will reinforce the importance of CWCB's loan and grant programs, and create a pathway for potential future projects that support any number of local efforts from municipal planning to outreach and education to agricultural infrastructure to watershed health.

As the CWCB and the roundtables continue planning for the next version of the Water Plan in 2022, it is more important than ever to continue bringing innovative and unique project ideas to the table - regardless of its tier or category.