COLORADO WATER TRUST INC

Just Add Water

Denver, CO   |  www.coloradowatertrust.org

Mission

The mission of the Colorado Water Trust is to restore flows to Colorado's rivers in need.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Andrew Schultheiss

Main address

3264 Larimer Street Suite D

Denver, CO 80205 USA

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EIN

84-1606567

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water Rights Solutions

Water Rights Solutions include purchasing or leasing water rights to restore flows to dry rivers, coordinating water-sharing agreements, and establishing other innovative partnerships with water users throughout the state.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In addition to engaging in its own conservation activities, the Colorado Water Trust serves as a resource for land trusts with water issues that arise in connection with land conservation activities. Examples of current technical assistance projects include: 

 Water Rights Workshops. In 2010, CWT received funding to offer 12 workshops around the state of Colorado which would engage land conservation professionals, watershed groups, federal and state agency professionals, and city and county officials in a full-day event to provide background on basic Colorado water law, instream flow transactions and the history and operation of the state's Instream Flow Program.

 Water Rights Assessments. Land trusts have the opportunity to obtain a review of existing easements for an anaylsis of the organization’s encumbered water rights.  In addition to a summary of encumbered water rights, a report will offer technical suggestions and solutions for handling water issues in the future.

 Model Language. CWT is currently in the process of updating our previously release Model Conservation Easement Language for encumbering water rights. Much has changed since the original release of the model language and by updating the model language to include these changes, CWT hopes to recommend best practices and ensure important water rights remain with valuable conservation easements.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Farmers

River infrastructure, such as dams and diversion structures, often cause low flows and/or hinder fish passage. Colorado Water Trust works with ditch owners and engineering consultants to improve river infrastructure to keep rivers healthy. Some examples include:

- Headgate and delivery system upgrades that make diversions more efficient.
- Moving a point of diversion downstream or changing the source of water (e.g. from surface diversion to a well).
- Installing low flow channels around existing structures
-Removing abandoned dams

Population(s) Served
Adults
Farmers

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Colorado’s semi-arid climate makes water the state’s most precious natural resource. Most of Colorado’s water comes from snowpack in the Rocky Mountains which every spring, runs down to the fields and plains in the form of rivers and streams. As populations and water needs have expanded throughout Colorado, and particularly on the very dry Front Range, extensive amounts of water have been withdrawn from our state’s rivers for agriculture, industry, and municipalities. For example, approximately 50% of Denver’s water is diverted from the Colorado River and its tributaries located many miles away on the Western Slope of the Rockies. There are 24 main tunnels that bring about 400,000 acre-feet of water (or 150 billion gallons) each year from the Western Slope to the Front Range and provide water for both growing cities and agriculture. In more recent years, the added impact of climate change on Colorado’s snowpack is reducing the amount of water available to begin with. The ever-increasing demand combined with reduced availability is resulting in rivers that barely flow or in some cases, rivers that have gone completely dry—stranding and exposing fish, damaging riparian habitat, and impacting the local economies that rely on our rivers. To further complicate things, Colorado’s highly complex water law system makes solutions a long and arduous process that requires expertise and innovation. While the State has taken steps to protect its rivers, there is a lot more work that needs to be done.

Founded in 2001, the Colorado Water Trust works within Colorado’s complex water system in a neutral and collaborative way to restore flows to rivers in need. Our founders are a group of water lawyers and water engineers who saw that solutions to our water challenges exist within the system--they just needed someone to do the work. Through creative and collaborative market-based solutions, Colorado Water Trust is restoring and protecting healthy flows in Colorado’s rivers while innovating to maintain the water needs of our communities for a sustainable water future for our state. Since 2001, Colorado Water Trust has pioneered multiple market-based legal tools for flow restoration that have returned 16.8 billion gallons of water to 588 miles of rivers and streams across the state, protecting endangered fish, improving riparian habitat, supporting local economies, and keeping Colorado’s landscapes beautiful.

Financials

COLORADO WATER TRUST INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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COLORADO WATER TRUST INC

Board of directors
as of 06/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anne Castle

Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, University of Colorado Boulder

Term: 2019 - 2024

David Taussig

White & Jankowski

Anne Castle

Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado

Ben Hrouda

Flywheel Capital

Barbara Biggs

Roxborough Water & Sanitation District

Paul Bruchez

Reeder Creek Ranch

John Currier

Colorado River Water Conservation District

Marsha Daughenbaugh

Wayne Forman

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Emily Hunt

City of Thornton

Brad Weinig

Denver Department of Housing Stability

John Carron

Hydros Consulting

Sarah Klahn

Somach Simmons & Dunn

Julie Nania

High Country Conservation Advocates

Matt Rice

American Rivers

Tom Romero

Sturm College of Law

Matt Rooney

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data