The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) began a long-term partnership between Denver Water and the West Slope. The agreement is a framework for numerous actions by the parties to benefit water supply, water quality, recreation, and the environment on both sides of the Continental Divide.

Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (entire document with addendum and 1st Amendment)
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (2-page summary)
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (6-page summary)
Addendum (4/5/2012)
First Amendment (9/30/2018)
List of signatories and beneficiaries
Shoshone Outage Protocol Agreement (ShOP)

Learning by Doing (LBD) is one of the outcomes of the CRCA to create an initiative to work on environmental concerns with the Fraser and Colorado Rivers.  The primary goal: “to maintain, and where reasonably possible, restore or enhance the condition of the aquatic environment in Grand County.”  A Management Committee oversees LBD activities, of which the Colorado River District is a voting member. Additionally, we contribute financially, such as assisting in the funding of stream monitoring to evaluate flushing flows, sediment accumulation and prediction of trout embryo survival rates within the project area of the Grand County Stream Management Plan.

Fish return to troubled stretch of
Fraser River

KUSA – Its a success story in river restoration

Fraser Flats, a nearly-mile-long section of Fraser River in Grand County, is showing signs of recovery following a restoration project, according to Denver Water. The $200,000 river restoration project was completed in September with the goal of helping aquatic life stay healthy throughout the year. The early results from a fish survey on October 5 show that the number and size of rainbow and brown trout has increased.

Full Article

A portion of the Fraser River receiving rehabilitation. Photo: Denver Water

Rehab Of Colorado’s Fraser River Shows Early Signs Of Success

For decades, the Fraser River in Colorado’s Grand County has turned into a trickle every fall as the snowmelt that powers the river dissipates. The low flows have led to warmer water temperatures and less wildlife.

That changed this year, at least along a short stretch of the Fraser. And it’s due to an unusual partnership that includes Denver Water, which diverts most of the river to the Front Range, and Trout Unlimited, which has fought for decades to protect it. The group, dubbed Learning by Doing, focused its efforts on nearly a mile of the river near Tabernash. Work wrapped up on the $200,000 project earlier this fall.

Full Article

When Does An Environmentalist Compromise? Lessons From The Fraser River

Colorado’s economy depends on water: where it is, where the people who need it live and work, who has rights to it. Fights over those needs are a core part of the state’s history, and they tend to follow a pattern. So in some ways, the fight over the Fraser River in Colorado’s Grand County is familiar.

Denver Water holds unused water rights on the river, which starts in the shadow of Berthoud Pass and courses down the western side of the Continental Divide past Winter Park, Fraser and Tabernash to join the Colorado River outside of Granby.

Full Article

Fishing guide Kevin Scannel shows off increased bug life. Photo: Nathaniel Minor

Group completes restoration to improve habitat for part of
Fraser River

Stories have circulated for years about the state of Grand County’s waterways, largely centered around bad news, but there have been some bright spots lately, including the recent completion of the Fraser Flats Habitat Project.

The Fraser Flats Habitat Project is a cooperative venture conducted by Learning By Doing, an amalgamation of local water stakeholders who several years ago formed a committee in an effort to increase cooperation and decrease litigation between Front Range water diverters, local governments and High Country conservation groups. The Fraser Flats Project is the group’s pilot project, restoring a roughly one-mile section of the Fraser River.

Work on the project, which was conducted on a section of the Fraser River between Fraser and Tabernash, wrapped up in late September and the members of Learning By Doing are, to put it mildly, thrilled with the success of the project.

Full Article


In 2017 Kirk Klancke of Colorado River Headquarters Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Jessica Alexander of Denver Water and Anna Dexler-Dreis of Colorado Headwaters Land Trust presented at our annual Grand County State of the River public meeting.

In 2016 Jeff Drager of Northern Water and Kirk Klancke of Colorado Headquarters Chapter of Trout Unlimited presented at our annual Grand County State of the River public meeting, “Learning by Doing An Enhancement Program.”



Primary speakers included: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado River District General Manager Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District External Affairs Manager Chris Treese, Grand County Commissioner James Newberry, Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson, Attorney Glenn Porzak and Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead.

Treese, Hickenlooper, Lochhead & Davidson

Porzak, Newberry, Kuhn & Lochhead

Newberry, Kuhn, Hickenlooper & Lochhead

Footage of the Press Conference:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four