Incorporating Land Use Planning into Water Efficiency Plans

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

State of Colorado Water Efficiency Plan Guidance Addendum

The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, a center of the Lincoln Institute of Land 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: Addendum to 2012 Guidance Document (Addendum) for the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). The Addendum updates the State of Colorado’s water efficiency plan guidance to include land use practices that foster water savings.

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 co-author.
  • Erin Rugland, Junior Fellow at the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy is a co-author.
  • The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy is a project 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. 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.” 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. The Addendum bridges this gap.

The Addendum, adopted by the CWCB in January 2019, includes land use best practices that can be implemented by water providers, either independently, or through collaboration with a land use authority. It is tailored to Colorado communities, uses numerous examples and additional resources, and is designed to be adapted as applicable to varying local circumstances.

Methods

The Addendum was developed 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 focused on the use and readability of the guidance.

Taking the Addendum into Action

The Babbitt Center and Water Education Colorado worked to educate practitioners, consultants, engineers, and other stakeholders about the Addendum during the fall of 2019. This education and outreach included two webinars hosted in collaboration with Colorado’s Special District Association and Colorado Municipal League, and four workshops around Colorado. Watch the webinars below.

October 25, 2019 Webinar

 

August 12, 2019 Webinar

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