In 2012, the Gates Family Foundation provided a matching grant to the Colorado Water Trust to support a new program, the “Request for Water” which allowed for the acquisition of short term leases of water from agricultural producers and other water rights holders to support stream health and minimum stream flows during dry years. The success of this endeavor provided for both direct and indirect benefits to the water system, including supplementing in stream flows and increasing public awareness of the impact of drought conditions on the health of riparian ecosystems.
The Foundation is continuing this partnership in 2013 with a second year of funding, in the form of a 1-to-1 matching grant up to $100,000. The Colorado Water Trust is working to engage first year lessors in a second year of leasing, to achieve measurable environmental impacts in critical river reaches, and to increase engagement and support from key stakeholder groups, including the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the State Engineer’s Office and local water conservancy districts and ditch companies.
Click here to learn more about the Colorado Water Trust and the Request for Water 2013 Program.