Gunnison Basin Implementation Plan

(The following text was extracted from The Colorado Water Plan FAQ)

The Colorado Water plan took a hard look at Colorado’s future water needs and projected water supplies, and 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 the Gunnison Basin Roundtable, a diverse group of local water stakeholders.

The Gunnison Basin Roundtable delivered its Basin Implementation Plan (BIP) to the CWCB in April 2015. This plan offers solutions that are incorporated into Colorado’s Water Plan.

  • Based on 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. (BIP, pg 60)
  • “These increased needs are generally expected to be managed with sufficient existing supplies and/or planned projects” (pg 6 BIP Executive Summary).
  • The Gunnison BIP analysis indicates that agricultural water demands are projected to be larger than available supplies by 2050 and shortages of approximately 116,000 AF per year are projected.
  • The Gunnison BIP describes several ways to improve water supply reliability and to minimize the loss of agriculture lands and water 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, below: