Colorado's Precious Water Resources

In arid Colorado, water is the lifeblood of our communities. Generations of Coloradans have relied on our streams and rivers to support farms and ranches, and every year people come from around the country and world to fish, kayak, raft, and play here. Rivers and streams also provide clean and plentiful drinking water for our cities and towns, and essential habitat to our abundant fish and wildlife populations.

In recent years, however, Colorado has often been gripped in drought, with low annual precipitation leading to dangerously low municipal water supply levels. Empty reservoirs, rivers reduced to seasonal trickles, and browned lawns provide frequent visual reminders of how severe these droughts can be. Drought also cripples the recreation and tourism economy upon which many in the state rely. And Colorado’s water challenges will likely increase as we experience the impacts of global warming and continued population growth.  Proposals for dealing with periodic droughts -– ranging from conservation and efficiency measures to a blank check for unnamed dam and reservoir projects -- have far-reaching implications on Colorado’s rivers and our state’s future

CEC works with our partners to develop and advocate for the adoption of water supply and management decisions that are environmentally and economically sustainable in order to conserve, protect, and restore Colorado's rivers. Our driving philosophy is that through inclusive planning processes we can achieve greater conservation and efficiency measures that use our water more wisely, and plan for the future in a "smart" way -- a way that allows Colorado's economy to thrive while still maintaining the invaluable water resources that make our state so special.

CPR for Colorado's Rivers
We rely on our rivers to provide our drinking water, to grow our food, support our wildlife habitat, enhance the natural wonders of Colorado, and sustain our tourism economy with world-class fishing, whitewater paddling, and birding opportunities.

Projects in the Works
As demands on our water supplies continue to grow, water users – from municipalities to recreationists to ranchers – around the state are always putting forward new projects for managing this finite resource. Read more about projects currently in the works, and the process by which proposed projects become reality.