White Jankowski Lawyers

Grand County secures grant funding for whitewater park on Colorado River

February 8, 2013

On January 29, 2013 the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) approved Grand County’s application to fund a portion of the County’s planned Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at Pumphouse on the Colorado River in the amount of $500,000.  Grand County has already invested matching funds and will also make additional investments to the project.  The Whitewater Park will include in-channel structures that will provide “park and play” recreational opportunities and attract boaters and spectators to promote tourism, new jobs and boost the local economy.  The County is in the process of adjudicating a recreational in channel diversion water right (RICD) for the Whitewater Park.  A water right for the Whitewater Park—which will be the first RICD water right on the Colorado mainstem—is an important component of implementing the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.  An RICD water right provides protection to water in a flowing stream to be used for non-motorized boating recreation, and is essential to both protecting the County’s investment in the Whitewater Park and preserving its priority under Colorado law.  The County has worked closely with the CWCB and local water users to ensure that concerns regarding the Whitewater Park and its water rights are addressed, and has been successful in this collaborative approach to securing broad support for the project.  The CWCB’s grant of funding of this rural, recreational project demonstrates the CWCB’s commitment to supporting non-consumptive beneficial use projects in Colorado.