The waters of Western Colorado face constant political, legal, cultural and natural challenges and events that affect the quality and quantity of this most vital natural resource.

The River District works on behalf of its nearly half-million constituents to monitor these happenings and to protect the interests of this region. This section of the website provides studies and reports regarding major issues  that are shaping Western Colorado’s water outlook and can be downloaded or received by request.

Colorado River District Demand Management Stakeholder Advisory Committee Report

Lower Gunnison Project (2015 NRCS RCPP)

Target/Control Evaluation of the Central Colorado Mountains River Basin Winter Cloud Seeding Program

Central Colorado Mountains River Basins Weather Modification Program Cloud Seeding Report for the 2020-2021 Winter Season

Winter Park Cloud Seeding Program, Water Year 2021: Final Report

Upper Basin Demand Management Economic Study in Western Colorado

Colorado River Water Bank Feasibility Study Phase 2B (2015)

  • Qualitative assessment and summary in three ditch systems
  • Grand Valley Project
  • Uncompahgre Valley Water Users’ Association
  • Doctor Morrison Ditch System

Aspects of the Yampa River Flow Regine Essential for Maintenance of Native Fishes (2015)

  • Colorado River basin and fishes
  • Colorado pikeminnow distribution and life history
  • Importance of the Yampa River
  • Yampa River fish and flow relationships studies

Energy Development Water Needs Assessment Update Phase III Final Report (2014)

  • The Water Supply Planning Process
  • Oil Shale Process Water Demands
  • Water Use Scenarios for Oil Shale Development
  •  Groundwater
  • Water Supply Project Alternatives

Colorado Dust on Snow WY  Summary (2014)

  • Snowpack (SWE)
  • Dust-on-snow intensity
  • Spring weather
  • And their combined impacts on spring 2014 snowmelt runoff

Colorado River Water Bank Feasibility Study Phase 2 (2013)

  • Candidate System Screening Criteria
  • Test Case System Evaluations
  • Operational Scenarios and Criteria

Colorado River Water Bank Feasibility Study Phase 1 (2012)

  • Project Scope of Work
  • Potential Magnitude and Frequency of Water Bank Need
  • Water Bank Supply-Use Scenarios

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Colorado River Basin Supply & Demand (2012)

  • Projected Future Water Supply and Demand
  • Options and Strategies to Resolve Supply and Demand 11Imbalances
  • Evaluation of Options and Strategies to Resolve Supply 17 and Demand Imbalances

Report cover CRWAS 2012

Colorado River Water Availability  Study Report – Final (2012)

  • Technical results
  • Study processes
  • Utilization of Phase I Results
  • Future Analysis

Aspinall Unit Operations Environmental Impact Statement (2012)

  • Purpose of and Need for the Action
  • Proposed Action and Alternatives
  • Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences
  • Environmental Commitments and Mitigation
  • Consultation and Coordination

Statewide Water Supply Initiative – Colorado’s Water Supply Future  (2010)

  • Nonconsumptive Needs Assessments
  • Nonconsumptive Projects and Methods
  • Consumptive Needs Assessments
  • Consumptive Projects and Methods and the M&I Gap
  • Water Availability
  • Portfolios and Strategies to Address the M&I Gap

Colorado River Basin Tamarisk and Russian Olive Assessment (2009)

  • Evapotranspiration by Riparian Vegetation
  • TRO Management – state-of-the-science
  • Programmatic Issues and Economics of TRO Management
  • Demonstration Sites


Climate Change in Colorado (2008)

The report is an assessment of Colorado climate change authored by scientists at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University.

The CU-NOAA Western Water Assessment was produced for state water planners and provides scientific information on temperature, precipitation, snowmelt, and runoff for Colorado.

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Phase II Upper Colorado River Study Executive Summary (1998)

  • Upper Colorado River In-Basin Water Needs
  • Study Results
  • PACSM Analysis Results
  • Impacts of 2002-2003 Drought
  • Next Steps
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