The Colorado River District is local government. We exist to serve you – water users across the 15 West Slope Colorado counties that from the headwaters of the Yampa, White, Gunnison, and Colorado Rivers. We do this through legal and legislative advocacy, technical and engineering support, community outreach and education, and multi-benefit water project grant funding.
In addition to protecting West Slope water interests within our borders, the Colorado River District also supports the State of Colorado to ensure our water interests within the greater Colorado River Basin are protected when federal and interstate negotiations around Colorado River Basin water and water management occur.
Our goal has been the same since our founding: to protect West Slope water and keep in on the Western Slope. In 1937, when West Slope residents woke up one day to newspaper headlines announcing more water diversions from the Colorado River to the Front Range, Western Colorado leaders organized and went east to advocate and create a unified voice for West Slope water interests. That voice is now us, your Colorado River District, established when then Governor Teller Ammons signed the Conservancy District Act, allowing the formation of the Colorado River Water Conservation District.
Over 80 years later, we’re even more committed to ensure water security for Colorado’s Western Slope. The challenges facing Western Colorado water supplies today have only grown in magnitude. Demand for Colorado River water is increasing as climate change, aridification, and population growth compounds across the American Southwest. Meanwhile our Colorado mountain snowpack – our and the majority of the greater Colorado River Basin’s water source – is shrinking amid long-term, temperature-driven drought.
Despite the mounting crisis on the Colorado River, the Colorado River District is working to sustain a bright future for Western Colorado. We’ll continue to work on federal, state, and local levels to advocate for the best policies, projects, and funding for our West Slope water users and work together with diverse partners to find innovative ways to help our communities adapt to living with less.