GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Along with the nearly half a million dollars awarded in Accelerator Grants, the Colorado River District’s Community Funding Partnership (CFP) continues to hit milestones in support of local water projects. Since its inception in 2021, CFP has awarded over $5.5 million to 60 multi-benefit projects of varied scope, size and purpose. The funding program is available to water users within the fifteen counties of the River District and is designed to support projects across five categories: productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health and water quality, and conservation and efficiency.
“The entire Colorado River Basin faces a future with less water, and the projects we fund through the Community Funding Partnership provide real-world solutions within our own District,” said Amy Moyer, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Colorado River District. “The program is a success story of how local funding can catalyze durable, resilient and immediate actions across our communities.”
While many projects center around infrastructure upgrades to diversions and delivery systems, others focus on addressing challenges from a broader perspective. Some of these include land-use planning handbooks for the arid west, water-conservation best practice trainings for boots-on-the-ground landscapers, and a study to understand the social barriers to adopting water conservation practices among groups of diverse agricultural water users on Colorado’s Western Slope.
As a new initiative, the Community Funding Partnership launched the Accelerator Grant program to support West Slope water users as they navigate the time-consuming and often costly application requirements for federal funding programs available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The grant cycle closed on August 1, 2022. On September 15, the Colorado River District Board of Directors approved 12 Accelerator Grant awards totaling $493,314. The awards support a wide range of projects including watershed restoration, municipal redundancy, fishery improvements, and diversion and delivery system modernization.
“We received a strong, positive response to our call for applications this summer,” said Moyer. “The awarded projects will have wide-reaching positive impacts on communities across the Western Slope of Colorado by allowing local innovators to develop competitive applications for federal funds, which otherwise would not move forward.”
–Colorado River District