Legislative Priorities

Building Towards Resilience Through Legislative Action

Colorado’s 2022 legislative session began in January with a sobering reminder and call to action from House Speaker Alec Garnett: “Climate change is a clear and present danger that we cannot let up the fight on.” The convening of the legislature brings us new opportunities to engage state leaders on climate and its impact on Colorado’s rivers.

2021 demonstrated vividly the impacts of climate change as well as showing what solutions to increase resilience look like. With below-average snowpack, the first-ever Lake Mead Tier 1 Shortage Declaration, emergency releases from Colorado reservoirs to send water down-Basin, and the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history in late December, the year illustrated the urgent need for increased climate resilience. It also saw many successes, including $20 million allocated to funding the Colorado Water Plan from the legislature, more than $14 million from the sports betting tax, and the passage of the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which dedicates at least $8.3 billion to Western water.

The Water for Colorado Coalition sees many opportunities to build on this work in 2022 and the Coalition supports the Legislature addressing critical water policy issues that will ensure resiliency for our communities, our economy, and our rivers. Our water realities are changing: it’s hotter and drier, and rivers are under more stress than ever before. It’s time for Colorado to meet the moment and prepare the state for a new era in water policy. This year, our Coalition’s priorities will focus on the following critical opportunities to secure our state’s water future.

2022

Legislative Priorities

HB1151: Turf Replacement Program

Replacing high-water-use varieties of turf with water efficient landscapes would save significant amounts of water, but Colorado does not have a statewide program to incentivize this change.

HB1151: Turf Replacement Program

Replacing high-water-use varieties of turf with water efficient landscapes would save significant amounts of water, but Colorado does not have a statewide program to incentivize this change.

HB1379: Wildfire Prevention Watershed Restoration Funding

Concerning transfers from the economic recovery and relief cash fund (American Rescue Plan Act) to provide additional funding for the management of certain natural resources.

HB1379: Wildfire Prevention Watershed Restoration Funding

Concerning transfers from the economic recovery and relief cash fund (American Rescue Plan Act) to provide additional funding for the management of certain natural resources.

HB1402: Responsible Gaming Grant Program

Ammending Proposition DD — passed in 2019 — to increase available funding for both water and problem gaming programs.

HB1402: Responsible Gaming Grant Program

Ammending Proposition DD — passed in 2019 — to increase available funding for both water and problem gaming programs.

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Turf Replacement Bill Gains Ground


A turf replacement bill would require the state water board to develop a statewide program to provide financial incentives for the voluntary replacement of irrigated turf with water-wise, drought-resistant landscaping.