Colorado Water Plan Announced, Includes Funding for Healthy Rivers and Streams
DENVER, Colo., Nov. 19, 2015—Today, the Colorado Water Conservation Board delivered its final Colorado Water Plan to Governor John Hickenlooper. For the first time in Colorado’s history, there will be statewide water conservation goals for cities and towns as well as the first-ever dedicated funding of stream management plans, which will be used for the assessment and restoration of critical riparian bird and wildlife habitat. Audubon Rockies issued the following statement:
“The plan addresses the importance of preserving and restoring our rivers’ and steams’ environmental resiliency,” said Western Rivers Outreach Specialist for Audubon Rockies Abby Burk. “Recognizing we still need more information and action to achieve that goal, the plan recommends that Colorado invest in stream protection and restoration. By 2030, the plan has a strong goal that 80 percent of a priority list of Colorado’s rivers and streams will have stream management plans.”
Riparian zones accounts for around 1% of Colorado’s geographic area, but 90% of Colorado’s birds critically rely on such habitat. Many of the birds that depend on rivers, like the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Bell’s Vireo, are in decline, and the future of the communities and economies surrounding the rivers is uncertain.