Confluence Newsletter
June 2021



 Colorado stands ready to work with our neighboring Upper Basin states to implement all aspects of the Drought Contingency Plan if conditions warrant. 

      - Commissioner Rebecca Mitchell in a statement following a recent Bureau of Reclamation study forecasting significant declines in Lake Powell’s elevation. Read full story on KUNC


Scoping Phase Finalized for Colorado Water Plan Update

The scoping phase for the Colorado Water Plan update process took place between March and early June 2021. During this phase, the Colorado Water Conservation Board collected feedback and input by hosting 13 workshops including 40 speakers and involving 600 participants. Topics ranged from environmental and recreation impacts, forest health, land use planning, climate change, agricultural viability, and more. 

The updated Water Plan will also incorporate eight Basin Implementation Plans - smaller, tailored plans for water issues in each of Colorado’s river basins. These sections of the Plan are set to be finalized in January 2022.

To follow the Water Plan update timeline, visit

Colorado Water Plan Grant Application Deadlines Approaching

The Colorado Water Conservation Board is accepting grant applications for Water Plan-related projects. Applicants may include government entities and private entities (including non-profits and partnerships). Projects may fit into one of the following categories: water storage & supply, conservation & land use planning, engagement & innovation, agricultural, or environmental & recreation.

Upcoming deadlines include July 1 and December 1, 2021. Learn More

Colorado Water Conservation Board Convenes for May Board Meeting

On May 19 - 20, members of the Colorado Water Conservation Board met virtually to discuss water issues across the state. The agenda included updates to instream flow appropriations, new loans approved for water projects, Colorado River and Demand Management-related updates, Colorado Water Plan scoping phase updates, and more.

To recap the meeting, visit the CWCB YouTube channel to view the archived videos for each day.

Water Equity Task Force to Bring Grassroots Perspectives to Colorado Water Plan

The Water Equity Task Force, established earlier this year, held its first meeting on May 18 to kick off conversations that will help shape the next version of the Colorado Water Plan. This group of 21 diverse Coloradans are tasked with bringing perspectives to better understand existing equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) challenges related to Colorado water issues.   

During the meeting, the Task Force focused on key themes including the rural-urban divide in Colorado, the need for more robust outreach and education to groups not traditionally included in water planning,  as well as the importance of collaboration and the value new voices can add. The Task Force is scheduled to meet next on July 30.

Commissioner Mitchell Statement on Lake Powell Elevation Forecast

On May 14, the Bureau of Reclamation released its monthly study showing the elevation level in Lake Powell as critically declining. The study predicts a significant probability that Lake Powell will decline to approximately 3,525.41 feet as early as March 2022. Lake Powell, which currently sits at elevation 3,560.60  feet, is approaching its lowest level since it was filled in the early 1960s. Read Commissioner Statement

Drought Monitor Reports Improved Conditions in Front Range, Water Scarcity in Southwest

As reported by the latest U.S. Drought Monitor for Colorado, the northern and front range portions of the state received significant spring precipitation, greatly improving the conditions and bringing those parts of the state out of drought. Drought conditions still exist in the western and southwestern parts of Colorado. Colorado’s southwest is facing daunting projections for ongoing drought and continued vigilance and awareness of water scarcity and drought across Colorado will be needed as the summer approaches. Follow Updates

Colorado Flood Threat Bulletin Now Available Daily Through Summer

From May through September, the Colorado Water Conservation Board will provide daily updates on the state's Flood Threat Portal to Colorado residents. Issued at 11:00am daily, the portal will provide a daily assessment of flood potential across the state, a 24-hour precipitation map, and a 7 - 15 day flood threat outlook (updated Mondays and Thursdays). New this year are burn area forecasts specific to each burn area… Read More

Colorado Water Talk Podcast: Flood Awareness and Wildfire Recovery

On Episode 7 of the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s podcast, Doug Mahan shares tips and the importance of flood preparedness, especially following the wildfire season. Listen Now & Subscribe

For information on Colorado Water Conservation Board's online payment portal for the Water Project Loan Program, contact Lauren Miremont.

This year's Watershed Summit will include panels and presentations on climate change, Colorado landscaping aesthetics, social change, community education programs, and much more. There will be a special keynote address from Leander Lacy, Interim Alliance Director of Metro Denver Nature Alliance and host of The Green Mind podcast. Watershed Summit 2021 is produced through a collaborative partnership between the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver Water, Aurora Water, the One World One Water (OWOW) Center, Resource Central and Denver Botanic Gardens.

WHEN: Thursday, June 24 / 9:00am - 1:00pm
WHERE: In-person outdoor event at Denver Botanic Gardens (virtual options available)
Register today
Linda Bassi Retires as Stream and Lake Protection Section Chief 
After 17 years of service, Linda Bassi retired from the Colorado Water Conservation Board on June 1. She led the Stream and Lake Protection Section for the past 14 years and was responsible for Colorado’s Instream Flow (ISF) and Natural Lake Level (NLL) Program, which include new ISF appropriations, legal protection, monitoring and enforcement of CWCB’s water rights, and acquisitions of water for ISF use. Linda also worked extensively on legislation, policy, and rules related to the program. Linda was involved with the development of the Colorado Water Plan, managing grants, and assisting on numerous stakeholder groups related to Wild and Scenic Rivers. Under her tenure, CWCB secured ISF appropriations on 231 streams, seven natural lakes, and completed 26 transactions to acquire senior water rights to be used in the ISF program. Through her leadership, the ISF program grew into one of the state’s showcase programs for protecting Colorado’s natural resources. Prior to working for CWCB, Linda worked in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for nine years, representing the Division of Water Resources and the CWCB on various water rights issues. CWCB wishes Linda all the best in her well-deserved retirement.


Following pandemic-related state guidelines, events are being held virtually for the foreseen future until notified otherwise. Please visit the CWCB Public Calendar for updates. Meetings listed in Mountain Standard Time.


Colorado Water Plan Workshop: Hemp Cultivation and Water (Virtual)
Thursday, June 3 / 4:00pm - 6:00pm / Register

Colorado Water Plan Riverside Chat II (Virtual)
Tuesday, June 8 / 10:00am - 12:00pm / Register

South Platte Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Tuesday, June 8 / 4:00pm - 7:00pm / Details

Arkansas Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Wednesday, June 9 / 12:30pm - 3:00pm / Details

Metro Roundtable (Virtual)
Thursday, June 10 / 4:00pm - 6:00pm / Details

Demand Management Workshop: Agricultural Impacts, Local Governments & Economics (Virtual)
Monday, June 14 / 11:30am - 1:00pm / Details

Demand Management Workshop: Process, Education & Outreach
Monday, June 14 / 1:30pm - 3:00pm / Details

Webinar: Evaluating Conserved Consumptive Use in the Upper Colorado River
Thursday, June 24 / 9:00am - 10:30am / Register

Southwest Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Thursday, June 24 / 3:00pm - 6:00pm / Details

Demand Management Framework Public Listening Session (Virtual)
Tuesday, June 29 / 5:00pm - 7:00pm / Details

Rio Grande Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Tuesday, July 13 / 2:00pm - 5:00pm / Details

South Platte Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Tuesday, July 13 / 4:00pm - 7:00pm / Details

Arkansas Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Wednesday, July 14 / 12:30pm - 3:00pm / Details

Yampa-White-Green Basin Roundtable (Virtual)
Wednesday, July 14 / 6:00pm - 9:00pm / Details
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The Colorado Water Conservation Board mission is
to conserve, develop, protect and manage Colorado’s water
for present and future generations.

1313 Sherman Street, Suite 718
Denver, CO 80203

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