Colorado Water Supply Stakeholders Agree to Shared Vision Planning Study
At a June 3-4 Shared Vision Planning (SVP) Workshop, stakeholders
decided to go forward on a SVP study of flow regimes for the water
supply alternative favored by two Colorado cities. The workshop was
part of a pilot sponsored by the Corps Western States Watershed Study in
cooperation with the cities of Greeley and Fort Collins Colorado, the
Nature Conservancy, the Western States Water Council and others.
This pilot is the first test of the SVP process in the Corps 404
regulatory program. Faced with increasing municipal water demands,
Greeley and Fort Collins have proposed enlarging the Halligan and
Seaman Reservoirs and have applied to the Corps for a permit under
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
regulators review alternatives (including the applicants' preferred
alternative), IWR's Shared Vision Planning team, the permit applicants
and stakeholders are jointly assessing whether a SVP approach could be
used to improve streamflow management under the preferred alternative or
some variation. Since last October, IWR's team has worked with
stakeholders to develop a Shared Vision Planning model of the water
The workshop showed stakeholders how they could
use the collaboratively developed prototype model to formulate and
evaluate different options for streamflow management. Workshop
participants varied reservoir sizes and operating rules to improve
scores based on the Nature Conservancy flow guidelines. The second day
featured discussions among the participants on five "triage" questions
that help determine whether Shared Vision Planning is likely to be a
useful approach in a particular situation. The participants' answers
were generally quite positive.
The workshop concluded
with the decision by the cities and stakeholders to conduct an
eighteen-month Shared Vision Planning study, pending approval of a
detailed scope of work. A status report on this project to the Western
Governors Association is planned for November.