Garfield County, Colorado — On June 10, the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a commitment of $3 million to support the purchase and permanent protection of the water rights associated with the Shoshone Hydroelectric Power Plant. The flows provided by these senior, non-consumptive water rights are essential for maintaining agricultural and recreational economies, and for providing municipal water resources in Garfield County.

The total purchase price for the water rights is $99 million. The Colorado River Water Conservation District has secured commitments of over $14 million from 19 Western Slope partners, with Garfield County ($3 million), the City of Glenwood Springs ($2 million), Eagle County ($2 million), and the Ute Water Conservancy District ($2 million) pledging large contributions, among others.

The commissioners plan to dedicate the county’s Conservation Trust Fund allocation, among other funding sources, toward the water right purchase. They noted the flow is vital to local economic development and sustainability.

The county pledged the funds to boost the dedicated, visionary efforts by the Colorado River District on behalf of a growing coalition of communities and agencies in western Colorado to preserve Western Slope water rights into the future.