36 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER MAY 2020
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Bill Expands Voluntary
Loans Process for Instream Flows
ON MARCH 20, COLORADO GOVERNOR JARED
Polis signed into law House Bill 1157 (HB20-1157),
which provides additional tools to the Colorado Water
Conservation Board (CWCB) for managing voluntary loans
from water rights owners for the purposes of preserving and
improving the natural environment.
Specifically, the bill expands the number of years within
a 10-year period that a renewable loan may be exercised
from three years to five years, but for no more than three
consecutive years, and allows a loan to be renewed for up to
two additional 10-year periods. It also expands the CWCB’s
ability to use loaned water for instream flows to improve the
“This is a really helpful tool for instream flows that fall short.
It is always good to have more ways to work with partners to
protect flows in Colorado’s streams,” said CWCB Stream and
Lake Protection Section Chief Linda Bassi.
CWCB’s Instream Flow Loan Program is critical for boosting
stream flows, especially in late summer when flows are low,
temperatures are high, and fish are particularly stressed.
The CWCB appreciates the stakeholder coordination that
resulted in this bill advancing to the Governor’s desk.