Colorado Water Trust (Denver, CO)


  • Name:Megan Begley
  • Title:Director of Development

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Colorado Water Trust
  • Address:1420 Ogden Street
    Suite A2
    Denver, CO 80218
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:7205702897

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Colorado Water Trust's mission is to engage in and support voluntary efforts to restore and protect streamflows on Colorado's rivers to sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems.

  • Overview:
  • Rivers are the lifeblood of our state and touch nearly every facet of life in the West. They provide water for businesses, irrigation for crops, drinking water for our towns and cities, opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, natural habitat for fish and other wildlife, and the beautiful landscapes for which Colorado is famous.

    Decades of overuse has resulted in rivers that barely flow or in some cases, have gone completely dry—stranding and exposing fish, damaging riparian habitat, and impacting the local economies that rely on our rivers. Additionally, a warming climate and a fast growing population are putting further stress on our already over-tapped water resources.

    The Colorado Water Trust works within Colorado water law to find creative ways to restore and protect flows on our state’s rivers. Rather than fighting the system, we innovate within the system, pioneering new ways to enhance the amount of water in our rivers. We evaluate river systems and find places where water use can be adjusted with the health of the river in mind. We then work with the local water users and water rights owners to return water to rivers and restore their flow. As the climate continues to warm and more and more people make their way to our great state, it is imperative that we set up sustainable systems today that support healthy river habitat for tomorrow.

  • History:
  • Colorado’s semi-arid climate makes water the state’s most precious natural resource. Early settlers realized this and began taking water out of the state’s rivers and streams and delivering to their farms, ranches, mines, industries, and homesteads. Water rights were secured on a first in time, first in right basis—a system that is still in place today. Over the past two centuries, as populations and water needs have expanded, extensive amounts of water have been withdrawn from our rivers.

    In 1973, the Colorado legislature created the state’s Instream Flow Program and gave the Colorado Water Conservation Board the exclusive authority to use water rights to protect water in Colorado’s rivers and streams. But progress was slow and rivers all over the state were still going dry. In 2000, a group of water attorneys, engineers, and conservationists began to meet to brainstorm ways to bolster the Instream Flow Program. They saw that solutions to restoring and protecting river streamflows already existed within Colorado water law—they just needed someone directly dedicated to the work. They envisioned a private non-profit organization that would act as a facilitator for putting water back into our rivers and in 2001, founded the Colorado Water Trust with a mission to engage in and support voluntary efforts to restore and protect streamflows in Colorado to sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems.

  • Year established:2001
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:14
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:7


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: