Grand Valley irrigated orchards

Glenwood Springs, Colorado — On Wednesday, April 3, the Grand Junction City Council unanimously approved a resolution to commit $1 million towards the purchase and permanent protection of the Shoshone water rights by the Colorado River District on behalf of a broad-based coalition. The City joins a growing list of West Slope water entities and governments who, along with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado River District, have now formally committed a total of $44 million towards the $99 million purchase price.

“I am proud City Council has approved the dedication of $1 million dollars in support of the Shoshone Water Right Preservation effort to secure the future of the Colorado River – and by extension, our very way of life in Western Colorado,” stated Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout. “This once-in-many-generations opportunity to protect Colorado River flows in perpetuity is vital to our community and everyone who depends on the river. Water is not only a vital natural resource, but it is a major contributor to the quality of life for everyone who lives, does business, and recreates in western Colorado.”

The City of Grand Junction, home to over 68,000 residents, currently holds conditional water rights on the Colorado River. Permanently protecting the Shoshone water rights will sustain critical flows and water levels in the Colorado River on a year-round basis throughout the Grand Valley, especially in dry years, thereby maintaining water quality through the dilution of pollutants and sediment. Across the West, redundant drinking water sources are becoming critical for municipalities like Grand Junction which continue to experience increased pressures from the impacts of a warming climate including wildfires, drought, and diminished water quality from lower flows.