Incorporating Land Use Planning into Water Efficiency Plans

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

State of Colorado Water Efficiency Plan Guidance Addendum

State of Colorado Water Efficiency Plan Guidance Information

The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy collaborated with the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School to write Best Practices for Implementing Water Conservation and Demand Management Through Land Use Planning Efforts for the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). This addendum updates the State of Colorado’s guidance on water efficiency plans to include land use mechanisms and further encourage the integration of water resources and land use planning processes.

Partners

  • Anne Castle, senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School is a project leader.
  • The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, a center of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, is a project leader and funder.
  • The Colorado Water Conservation Board is a project funder.

The Problem

The State of Colorado has required retail water providers serving 2,000 acre-feet or more to submit Water Efficiency Plans (WEPs) since 1991. Colorado has provided extensive guidance on the preparation of these plans, however new requirements for incorporating land use practices into WEPs were not covered in the previous guidance. Moreover, in 2015, Colorado Senate Bill 8 stipulated that WEPs must evaluate “best management practices for water demand management, water efficiency, and water conservation that may be implemented through land use planning efforts.”

The Babbitt Center and partners developed an addendum to existing guidance and existing sample plan to include land use best practices that can be implemented by water providers, either independently, or through collaboration with a land use authority. These materials were adopted by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in January of 2019.

Methods

The Babbitt Center and partners developed the addendum through an extensive review of literature on integrating land use- and water planning; interviews with ten Colorado water providers; valuable input from regional experts; and a workshop focusing on the use and readability of the guidance. The Babbitt Center is now working to educate relevant stakeholders about the new guidance.

For more information please contact Erin Rugland at erugland@lincolninst.edu or 602.566.7570.