Colorado Water Trust

A nonprofit organization

$27,645 raised by 179 donors

100% complete

$25,000 Goal

Help us ensure that Colorado has enough water for our rivers & people.

Just as land trusts serve as facilitators for land owners who want to conserve their property, Colorado Water Trust serves as a facilitator for water rights owners who want to use their water to benefit river habitats. Our team of water lawyers and water resource specialists innovates within Colorado’s system of water rights to develop market-based solutions that secure water for rivers while also protecting people’s livelihoods. Through purchases and leases of water, water sharing agreements, and other legal and infrastructure tools, we restore river flows that benefit both people and the environment. 

Colorado Water Trust is committed to a future where water is used and shared efficiently, allowing rivers and streams to flow healthy and strong for fish and wildlife, local economies, and the beautiful landscapes for which Colorado is famous.


Giving Activity


To restore water to Colorado's rivers.

Background Statement

Colorado Water Trust was founded in 2001 when Colorado was heading into the worst drought the region had ever seen and rivers were deeply threatened. A group of water lawyers, engineers, and conservationists began to explore new ways to use and move water that would support healthy rivers. Colorado Water Trust’s founders envisioned a nonprofit entity that would provide market-based solutions to secure water for environmental purposes. By innovating from the traditional use of water laws, they could take the tools and systems that were created to withdraw water from rivers for human use and instead use them to do the opposite: restore water to rivers.

Over the past 22 years, Colorado Water Trust has pioneered numerous legal tools to implement 25 projects throughout the state, many which operate every year, that have ultimately returned nearly 21 billion gallons of water to 600 miles of Colorado’s rivers and streams.

Today, we work closely with over 50 partners every year from municipalities, food producers, state and federal agencies, fellow nonprofits, and more, to find creative solutions that help us share water with the environment during critical times of need.

We are the pre-eminent environmental water transactions expert in Colorado, committed to a future where water is shared efficiently and with low transactional cost or friction. It is a future that climate change has forced our state to embrace, and we are leading the way.

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Water Trust

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Large Organization


1312 17th Street #766
Denver, CO 80202

Service areas





720-570-2897 8

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