The Study

In 2012 the Colorado Legislature passed HB 12-1278, which commissioned a study of the interaction of the South Platte alluvial aquifer by the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University. The Study was intended to:

  1. Evaluate whether current laws and rules that guide water administration in the South Platte River Basin achieve the duel goals of protecting senior water rights and maximizing the beneficial use of both surface water and groundwater within the Basin.
  2. Identify and delineate areas within the Basin adversely impacted by high groundwater levels and to conduct a feasibility-level evaluation of the causes of high groundwater levels in the affected area.
  3. Provide information to use as a base for implementation of measures to mitigate adverse impacts in areas experiencing high groundwater levels.
  4. Provide information to the General Assembly, the CWCB, and the State Engineer to facilitate the long-term sustainable use of the South Platte water supplies.
Depth to Groundwater in the South Platte River Alluvial Aquifer
Ground Water in the South Platte Alluvial AquiferClick to view larger image

The following are informational links about the HB12-1278 South Platte Groundwater Study:

Corollary to the HB1278 Study: Groundwater Modeling Efforts are being conducted in two areas, Sterling and Gilcrest/LaSalle. These pilot projects by CWCB and DWR will provide a feasibility-level evaluation of the causes of high groundwater levels in those two areas with funding provided under the 2013 "Projects Bill."