The Uncompahgre Watershed is experiencing rapid population growth. As the watershed’s population expands, additional demands will be placed upon the basin’s water resources.
The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) forecasts a doubling of the population from 2000 to 2035; increasing by 127%. Montrose is the ninth fastest growing county in Colorado. The statewide population is expected to increase by 80% in the same time period.
The laws that define water rights in Colorado follow the appropriation doctrine. Under Colorado water law, the right to utilize the waters of the State is based on the priority of a party’s appropriation of a specified amount of water, at a specified location, for specified uses. Local water commissioners, employed by The Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR), are responsible for distributing waters of the state to satisfy the demands of legal water rights.
The official tabulation of Colorado water rights in available online via the DWR website. The Colorado Decision Support System (CDSS) also provides a wide range of research tools that enable users to retrieve a range of water related data including streamflows, lake levels, water rights, diversion records, and calls on their website.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Natural Diversity Information Source (NDIS) website provides mapping, data, information, and links to similar website concerning hunting, fishing, wildlife, habitat, and conservation planning issues in Colorado.
Western Hardrock Watershed Team UWP Site