2020 #COleg: New #Colorado Instream Flow and Natural Lake Level Program Rules Now Effective (HB20-1157 Loaned Water For Instream Flows To Improve Environment) — @CWCB_DNR

An angler in the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs in early March 2020. Designating part of the Yampa River as over-appropriated would require some water users with wells to have an augmentation plan.
CREDIT: ALLEN BEST/ASPEN JOURNALISM

Here’s the release from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Sara Leonard):

On March 17, amended rules governing the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s (CWCB) Instream Flow and Natural Lake Level Program became effective.

The amended rules create additional tools and expand CWCB’s authority regarding temporary loans of water rights to the agency for instream flow use, including the ability to improve the natural environment, and allowing loans to be renewed for two additional 10-year periods, among other features.

The rule revisions implement Colorado House Bill 20-1157, sponsored by Senator Kerry Donovan and Representatives Dylan Roberts and Perry Will. On January 26, 2021, CWCB held a rulemaking hearing at which public comments were heard and the CWCB ultimately adopted the amendments to its existing rules.

“The CWCB staff is looking forward to working with the water community on both expedited and renewable loans, and appreciates having additional tools for protecting flows in Colorado’s streams,” said Linda Bassi, CWCB Stream and Lake Protection Section Chief.

The new Instream Flow Rules, Statement of Basis & Purpose, public comments, and other related documents are available on the CWCB website.

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