By Elliott Wenzler 

A major deal to secure flows along the Colorado River in perpetuity is gaining momentum after Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill appropriating $20 million to the water right acquisition on Wednesday in Silverthorne.

The Shoshone Power Plant, located along Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs, has some of the oldest and most significant water rights on the river. The Colorado River Water Conservation District has agreed to buy the rights from Xcel Energy for about $99 million.

“I’m not being hyperbolic when I say it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Zane Kessler with the river district. “This has been a priority for our predecessor’s predecessors on the Western Slope.”