Community Funding Partnership Update

2023 Program Achievements

The Community Funding Partnership program successfully closed out its third year in operation since River District voters passed Ballot Measure 7A in November 2020. In 2023, the program awarded 30 grants totaling $7.8 million. In addition, the program celebrated a historic milestone by committing $20 million to support the acquisition of the Shoshone Water Rights. The array of projects represented the District’s effort to support multi-benefit projects that are founded in community action. The awarded projects serve as strong examples of creative and durable solutions to the changing landscape that water users face on the Western Slope.

A newly-released 2023 Community Funding Partnership Annual Report provides a full summary of 2023 program accomplishments and impacts district-wide.

The report also highlights the success of the District’s Accelerator Grant Program, designed to support West Slope water users as they navigate the time-consuming and often costly application requirements for federal water project dollars available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure law (BIL). At the January Board Meeting, staff celebrated the program’s accomplishment – $228,000 in CFP funding awarded to local district projects leveraged $9,157,763 in federal funds.

First 2024 CFP Awards

Following the administrative discussion, Amy Moyer and Melissa Wills presented the board with two initial 2024 CFP grant proposals in Gunnison and Garfield Counties. Both grant applications requested $150,000 funding through the Community Funding Partnership and staff recommended both for full funding approval.

The River District Board of Directors voted unanimously to fund both of the following projects:

Project Name: City of Gunnison Water Treatment Plant and Infrastructure Improvements Project
Project Applicant: City of Gunnison
Request: $150,000
Award: $150,000
Location: Gunnison County

Project Name: Middle Colorado Agricultural Collaborative Phase 3 Project
Project Applicant: Trout Unlimited
Request: $150,000
Award: $150,000
Location: Garfield County

More information about the first CFP awards of 2024 can be found in the staff memo here.

In December 2023, The Colorado River District Board of Directors approved a $1 million expenditure and committed an additional $19 million subject to future revenue and appropriations for the Shoshone Permanency Project, totaling a $20 million commitment. As you’ll see in the 2023 and 2024 Awarded Projects charts on page 15 & 16, the CFP awards include an $11 million contribution for 2023-2024 dedicated to the Shoshone Permanency Project to account for the $1 million expenditure and to isolate $10 million in reserves to maintain the District’s ability to fund the full $20 million by the end of 2027.