It’s about Coloradans from all corners of the state, and all walks of life, recognizing the value of water, and growing in understanding of how water connects all people, upstream and downstream, past, present and future. It’s about coming together as a statewide community to collectively act, in the face of drought and climate change, in order to make sure our water can meet all of the needs of today and for future generations.
Among others, it is the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact; the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act; the 20th anniversary of Water Education Colorado; and the year when the 2015 Colorado Water Plan will be updated to continue our long history of ensuring high quality water to support our state’s wide range of water uses and values.
Clean water flowing through our streams, farms and communities keeps us healthy, sustains the economy and local food production, helps produce energy, and provides important habitat for fish and wildlife. And, whether frozen as snow and ice, running in rivers, or pooled in lakes and reservoirs, it provides an abundance of water-based recreation and enjoyment.
As Coloradans, we love our water, but we face risks to water sustainability. The Water ’22 campaign was created to educate Coloradans about how the state’s water is one of its most important resources and to encourage conservation and protection in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change in Colorado, which has led to persistent drought conditions.
Water ’22 is also focused on including new voices like never before, ensuring the diverse range of Colorado needs and interests can be reflected in the state’s water decision making for more equitable and durable solutions to our water challenges.
No matter what part of the state you live in or what industry you work in or what you like to do in your free time, water connects all Coloradans through shared reliance and appreciation.
Therefore it’s up to all of us to work together and to do our part. Water ’22 invites you to make a renewed commitment to water stewardship in 2022 by taking the pledge to engage in “22 Ways to Care for Colorado Water in 2022.”
Colorado is a headwaters state, sometimes referred to as the “Mother of Rivers.” Snowmelt from our famous Rocky Mountain peaks reaches 18 other states and Mexico, supporting river ecology, communities and agriculture. As the headwaters, “It all starts here,” and Coloradans can take pride in the responsibility to be good stewards of this resource.
Colorado has a system of water law and management that has served as a model for other Western states, and which has adapted over time to incorporate changing values toward water.
Colorado has a state water plan built with input from tens of thousands of Coloradans to guide collaborative action and spur innovation toward a sustainable water future that takes into account all uses and values for water.
Colorado has been battling historic drought conditions. Those conditions impact the amount of water flowing in streams and rivers and available in aquifers from which water is being drawn faster than it can be replenished.
Drought and record-high temperatures created the conditions for the recent Marshall Fire, the most damaging in Colorado’s history, as well as the three largest wildfires on record which burned in 2020, causing degradation to forested watersheds, where 80% of Colorado’s water supply originates.
Increased demands from population growth, urbanization and drought have resulted in the dry up of hundreds of thousands of irrigated acres formerly used for food production.