Ripple Effects: Colorado Water Plan in Action 2017

Ripple Effects: Colorado’s Water Plan is a 2017 update on implementation of the plan that was published by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in 2015 - outlining two years of progress. Three main values are intended to guide the document: a productive economy, especially in the agricultural and tourism sectors; efficient water infrastructure; and a strong environment with healthy watersheds and wildlife. Many of the water plan’s objectives and strategies focused on climate change impacts to these focal sectors, and have been implemented according to this progress report.

The update is structured around the plan’s nine Objectives or focus areas: addressing the supply and demand gap; conservation; responsible land use; agriculture; storage; watershed health, environment, and recreation; funding; and education, outreach, and innovation.

The implementation update highlights Critical Actions that have been taken or are still deemed necessary to meet those objectives. Some of the many examples of these critical actions that Colorado has taken to address climate change include:

  • The CWCB is working across state agencies to increase resilience to climate change by incorporating climate change mitigation and adaptation into long-term planning for water resources and other sectors.
  • The CWCB is partnering with Colorado's Resiliency Office, to incorporate climate change more comprehensively into all their actions and the resiliency efforts of local governments.
  • In accordance with Executive Order 2017-015CWCB staff, other state agencies, and the Governor’s Office are working to implement statewide climate goals. The CWCB serves on and leads a number of workgroups focused on mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
  • Colorado is actively encouraging local communities to develop drought preparedness plans by providing tools and resources for development and implementation. This is a collaborative effort between the CWCB and other state agencies to engage stakeholders on sections of the Climate Plan.

The report concludes with a reflection on the importance of flexibility and adaptive management in Colorado, as climate variability will likely lead to even less predictable precipitation and water supply in the future.


Publication Date: November 2017

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  • Progress report

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