Environmental Law & Policy Alert – Update from Somach Simmons & Dunn

March 07, 2024

Proposed Shoshone Water Rights Acquisition by the Colorado River District

The Shoshone Generating Station (Plant) is a hydroelectric power plant located on the Colorado River east of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Plant began generating power in 1909 and holds the most senior non-consumptive water right on the Colorado River. The Plant’s water rights allow for the diversions of 1,250 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water with a 1902 priority and an additional 158 cfs with a 1929 priority, for a cumulative 1,408 cfs for hydroelectric generation (the Shoshone Water Rights). Because they are non-consumptive hydroelectric water rights, a Shoshone Water Rights call effectively creates an instream flow right through Glenwood Canyon above Glenwood Springs, benefiting both recreational and environmental uses in the canyon, as well as consumptive uses below Glenwood Springs, while limiting transmountain diversions by Front Range water users in the Upper Colorado River Basin … Read More

Written by Ryan J. Mitchell and Maximilian C. Bricker