Recently, Governor Polis released the following statement about the agreement between the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Public Service Company:
“Water is one of Colorado’s most precious resources and I’m excited to congratulate the Colorado River Water Conservation District and Public Service Company (PSCo) on their historic agreement that would allow the River District to purchase the water rights associated with the Shoshone power plant. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and the state look forward to working with the River District and PSCo through the state’s processes to ensure certainty for water users and protection for the environment,” said Governor Jared Polis.
The CWCB has the authority under state law to acquire water, water rights, or interests in water to preserve or improve the natural environment. If the agency acquires an interest in water rights, it will follow public processes to change those rights to include instream flow use. The process to change those rights can take years and with numerous opportunities for public participation.
“We understand how important it is to keep this water in the river – for people, the environment, agriculture, and the way of life that has grown around this existing structure over the last 100+ years,” said Lauren Ris, CWCB Director.
The CWCB will be evaluating the environmental needs and the River District’s request for $20 million to help fund the project. The CWCB is committed to continue working with the River District on this important project.