Water Plan History

When then Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) was directed to create the Colorado Water Plan (Water Plan) in 2013, it set in motion one of the largest stakeholder processes in Colorado history. The Water Plan built on a legacy of statewide collaboration born from the severe 2002-2003 drought, and strengthened by the "Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act" in 2005. It gathered input from Colorado's nine basin roundtables, and relied on data from several statewide water supply initiatives (SWSI).

The Water Plan has three component parts or processes that come together to inform how we update the plan:

  1. TECHNICAL ANALYSIS & NEEDS - In 2004, the initial SWSI first identified future water needs. Updates to SWSI occurred in 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2019 when SWSI was renamed as the Analysis and Technical Update to the Colorado Water Plan (Technical Update). Data and stakeholder input from across Colorado supported these efforts.

  2. BASIN PLANS - In 2005 the Water for the 21st Century Act (HB -117) created nine basin roundtables and the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC). The CWCB and basins roundtables collaborated (with two basins combining their efforts) to develop eight Basin Implementation Plans (BIPs) that informed the 2015 Water Plan. These are being updated now and will be finished in 2021.

  3. COMPREHENSIVE WATER PLAN UPDATE - Before the Water Plan was finalized in 2015, it went through 3 drafts and received 30,000 comments. The Plan helped unite many of Colorado's values and stakeholders with a single vision that demonstrated how important water is to our cities, farms, forests and rivers. The Plan is now being updated and will be complete in 2022.

You can learn more about the Water Plan Update or share "Your Water Plan Story" by visiting these links.


When then Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) was directed to create the Colorado Water Plan (Water Plan) in 2013, it set in motion one of the largest stakeholder processes in Colorado history. The Water Plan built on a legacy of statewide collaboration born from the severe 2002-2003 drought, and strengthened by the "Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act" in 2005. It gathered input from Colorado's nine basin roundtables, and relied on data from several statewide water supply initiatives (SWSI).

The Water Plan has three component parts or processes that come together to inform how we update the plan:

  1. TECHNICAL ANALYSIS & NEEDS - In 2004, the initial SWSI first identified future water needs. Updates to SWSI occurred in 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2019 when SWSI was renamed as the Analysis and Technical Update to the Colorado Water Plan (Technical Update). Data and stakeholder input from across Colorado supported these efforts.

  2. BASIN PLANS - In 2005 the Water for the 21st Century Act (HB -117) created nine basin roundtables and the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC). The CWCB and basins roundtables collaborated (with two basins combining their efforts) to develop eight Basin Implementation Plans (BIPs) that informed the 2015 Water Plan. These are being updated now and will be finished in 2021.

  3. COMPREHENSIVE WATER PLAN UPDATE - Before the Water Plan was finalized in 2015, it went through 3 drafts and received 30,000 comments. The Plan helped unite many of Colorado's values and stakeholders with a single vision that demonstrated how important water is to our cities, farms, forests and rivers. The Plan is now being updated and will be complete in 2022.

You can learn more about the Water Plan Update or share "Your Water Plan Story" by visiting these links.


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