The Community Development Office (CDO) coordinates the State of Colorado's work to identify and promote local government best practices for integrating land use and water planning. Land use is a local decision; in order to ensure community identity, heritage, economic health, and plans for growth align with available supplies of clean water resources, communities should incorporate water into long range planning processes. Water and land use integration is also a key goal of the Colorado Water Plan.
In 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 15-008 into law. Among other water efficiency-related measures, the law calls for the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to work with DOLA’s Division of Local Government (DLG) to develop and provide training and make recommendations regarding how to better integrate water demand management and conservation planning with land use planning. Since 2015, DOLA and CWCB have collaborated and leveraged the work of partners across the state to encourage both communities and water providers to meet these objectives.
Colorado Water and Land Use Planning Alliance
In December 2017, CWCB and DOLA convened the Water and Land Use Planning Alliance (“the Alliance”). The Alliance is a non-formal multi-stakeholder group of representatives from state agencies, local governments, advocacy organizations, research organizations, and other interested parties who come together with the purpose of coordinating to develop resources, provide technical assistance, and track progress on water and land use integration across Colorado. The Alliance meets quarterly. For more information and to view Alliance meeting summaries, visit the land use page of CWCB’s website.
Tools for Local Governments
The Community Development Office, along with its partners, is developing a resource guide for local governments that aim to incorporate more water conservation strategies into land use planning. See CDO’s page about comprehensive plans for guidance on how to incorporate water into comprehensive plans.