Publications / Roaring Fork Watershed Plan

Roaring Fork Watershed Plan

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The Watershed Plan consists of a number of sections including an introduction and overview, recommendations for urgent actions, recommendations applicable to water quality, water quantity and regional water management, and a discussion of implementation. The matrices, which arrange the recommendations in a sortable format, divide the recommendations into several categories which allow for examining the recommendations from a number of perspectives such as location, key entities and recommendation type (study, project or regulation). Although the Watershed Plan is intended to be an ever-evolving and flexible document we do hope to update it periodically as information, prioritizes and planning changes.

Benefits of a Watershed Plan

  • A structure for continued input from and dialogue between all stakeholders. 
  • Improved community understanding, interest, and leadership in watershed issues.
  • Encouragement of partnerships to identify and fund mutually beneficial projects. 
  • Efficient use of financial resources and effective use of agency and organizational personnel. 
  • Protection of riparian and aquatic resources.
  • Provides available watershed information and data to all stakeholders.
  • Collaboration on applications for major grants.
  • Collaboration on public outreach and education efforts.
  • Provides a mechanism to transfer information.    

 Roaring Fork Watershed Plan - Recommended Actions (Google Docs) - for use by key participants to update status


Watershed Plan Sponsor:
Ruedi Water & Power Authority
Mark Fuller, Executive Director |

"After experiencing three of these input sessions and listening to the dialogue, I have come to understand that we are really talking about changing the culture of our relationship to water in the region. We can propose some regulatory changes that could have some impact, but the real change will be based on people having a different relationship with water and a culture of water responsibility becoming part of our regional ethic. That cannot be mandated." 

- Bob Schultz, Roaring Fork Watershed Plan meeting facilitator 


Watershed Plan – Why is it so important?

If you are a visitor to or a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, then the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan is important to you! Now, you see water in the river and streams, but it is not always there. In the summer of 2002, the worst drought in 100-years, the Roaring Fork River went dry as it made its way through the City of Aspen. Scientists tell us that we are likely to see more drought conditions more frequently in the future.

There are many important uses of the Roaring Fork River and its tributaries. This is where we get our drinking water, water for snowmaking, recreation, irrigation, and waste treatment. When flows in the Watershed are disrupted due to natural or human causes, we all suffer. The four counties and five towns that comprise the entire Watershed have joined with Ruedi Water and Power Authority and the Colorado River District to create a new and comprehensive “owners’ manual” for the Roaring Fork Watershed. This plan, consisting of (1) the State of the Watershed Report and (2) the Watershed Plan will provide all of us with the scientific data and tools to protect the Watershed and all of its benefits for ourselves, for our children and for future generations to come.

Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy

PHONE: (970) 927-1290

PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621

22800 Two Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

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