(The following text was extracted from the Colorado’s Water Plan FAQ and edited slightly to fit)
The Colorado Water plan took a hard look at Colorado’s future water needs and projected water supplies and created a proposed a series of actions to address these challenges. For the Gunnison River Basin, the list of potential solutions to meet Colorado’s water future was created by a diverse group of local water interests (i.e., the Gunnison Basin roundtable).
The Gunnison Basin Roundtable delivered its Basin Implementation Plan (BIP) (caution large file) to the CWCB in April of 2015. This plan offers solutions that are incorporated into Colorado’s Water Plan.
In summary, due to projected population growth, the demand for drinking water and water for industrial purposes in the Gunnison Basin is projected to increase 16,000 and 23,000 acre feet (AF) by 2050. However, “these increased needs are generally expected to be managed with sufficient existing supplies and/or planned projects” (pg 6 BIP Executive Summary).
In the agricultural water use sector, the Gunnison BIP analysis indicates that water demands are projected to be larger than available supplies by 2050. Therefore, shortages are projected to occur (approximately 116,000 AF per year). The Gunnison BIP describes several ways to improve water supply reliability and to minimize the loss of agriculture to other uses by rehabilitating key water supply infrastructure and by developing public education programs (Table 4, Executive Summary).
Additional analyses were performed for Recreational and Environmental water needs (Table 6).
To address future water needs a prioritized list of actions was created. These are summarized in Table 7 of the BIP. It is included here: