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Eagle County entities first to sign historic water agreement

Diane Johnson, ERWSD Communications and Public Affairs Manager, 970-477-5457
Kris Friel, Eagle County Communications Director, 970-328-8617

CRCA Signing Feb. 21, 2012Leaders from Eagle County, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority and Eagle Park Reservoir Company gathered on Feb. 21 to sign the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement. Five years in the making, the agreement between Denver Water and approximately 40 Western Slope water providers, local governments and ski resort operators ensures statewide cooperation on Colorado River water issues and is the broadest in scope of its kind in state history.

The signing in Eagle was the first to take place in the state as the agreement makes its way from the Colorado River headwaters to the Utah state line. The document and attachments are available below.

Focused on cooperation, the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement brings traditional water foes together as partners for responsible water development benefiting both Denver Water and the Western Slope. According to its authors, it prevents future transmountain diversions from the Eagle River Basin, achieves better environmental health in the Colorado River Basin, promotes high-quality recreational use, and improves economics for many cities, counties and businesses impacted by the river. 

The Eagle County entities were instrumental in both initiating and completing the complicated negotiations that ultimately created the agreement. “The cooperative effort represents a new way of doing business when it comes to water,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper during the April 28, 2011 announcement of the agreement. “It shows that water solutions must be crafted from a statewide perspective. We hope and expect that this process will ripple across Colorado to other areas of water conflict.” 

In addition to its benefits for Denver Water and the Western Slope, the agreement will trigger a major water-sharing and conservation arrangement between Denver Water and Aurora Water and water providers in the South Denver Metro Area. 

The agreement focuses on enhancing the environmental river health in much of the Colorado River Basin and its tributaries upstream of Grand Junction, and supporting many Western Slope communities and water providers to improve the quality and quantity of water through new municipal water projects and river management initiatives.

Locally, benefits to the Eagle River Basin include provisions that preclude Denver Water and any entity served by Denver from developing any future water projects in the Eagle River Basin without the approval of the Eagle County entities. Additionally, a Shoshone outage protocol will ensure sufficient flows in the Colorado River through Eagle County during times when the Shoshone Power Plant may not be operational. 

Supporters agree that the historic agreement will lead to better management and protection of the Colorado River and its tributaries for years to come.


Interviews with Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District General Manager, on the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
Part I
Part II  


CRCA 2-15-12 (00050365)
Signature Page (00050366)
List of Attachments (00050367)
Attachment A (00050399)
Attachment B (00050369)
Attachment C (00050370)
Attachment D (00050371)
Attachment D - WISE project (00050372)
Attachment E (00050373)
Attachment F (00050374)
Attachment G (00050375)
Attachment H (00050376)
Attachment I (00050377)
Attachment J (00050378)
Attachment K (00050379)
Attachment L (00050380)
Attachment M (00050381)
Attachment M Grand County (00050382)
Attachment N (00050384)
Attachment O (00050385)
Attachment P (00050386)
Attachment Q 07CW029 (00050387)
Attachment Q 07CW30 (00050388)
Attachment Q 07CW31 (00050389)
Attachment R (00050390)
Attachment S (00050391)
Attachment T (00050394)
Attachment T (00050393)
Attachment T (00050392)
Water Rights Chart (00050395)
Implementation Agreement (00050396)