Audubon members, friends of birds and rivers, and Coloradans, it is time to engage in the update of the Colorado Water Plan. We need your help (again) in improving our statewide water management to benefit birds and people. The Colorado Water Plan (CWP) is undergoing its inaugural update and will be released for public comment on June 30th. The 90-day public comment period offers a momentous opportunity to engage with water management and decision-makers that serve our communities and natural ecosystems. In the midst of unprecedented drought in the Colorado River basin, your input is vital for Colorado’s water security and resilience to climate change.
The CWP, finalized in 2015, with the help of water users, NGOs, and more than 30,000 public comments from across the state, acts as a roadmap of projected water availability, challenges, and water system needs. The CWP is organized by eight measurable objectives reflective of the state’s water values, which are accompanied by goals and actions to meet future water needs and adapt to a changing water landscape. While its implementation is ongoing, the planned update will include new solutions and action items critical for our water future.
Our water resources are in dire need of greater flexibility and sustainable solutions. Colorado’s communities and wildlife are battling prolonged drought-stress and wildfire impacts that have lasting effects on our watersheds. The update of the CWP is right on time to address unprecedented water variability and needs for community and natural system resilience.
2022 is a milestone year for Colorado’s water. The constellation of the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact; the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act; the Water Plan update, Water '22, and once-in-a-lifetime federal funding opportunities scale up the importance for engaging in our sustainable water future—for all. These are opportunities for us to work together and speak up to advocate for birds, other wildlife, rivers, and watersheds.
There are several ways to engage in this process and let your voice be heard. First, Audubon will be calling upon you for collective network action on our priorities during the 90-day public comment period. Second, the Colorado Water Conservation Board offers a multitude of resources related to the CWP update, both in English and Spanish. Once the draft is released, a platform to submit public comment will be available on this webpage. Watch your inbox for Audubon-guided engagement.
Audubon is committed to building a better today and tomorrow for people and birds alike. With Colorado’s severe drought conditions, the message is clear: we need to take action to prioritize water security to benefit us all. Please join us to ensure the updated CWP reflects the needs of you, me, birds, and all of Colorado.