Studies Covering Multiple Sub Regions


Includes information on: Water Consumption, Recreation and Environmental Conditions, Projects

Mapping Resources

Colorado Decision Support System

The Colorado Water Conservation Board developed this “data-centered” decision support system allows interested parties to view and to help improve the underlying water use data that supports complex water management computer programs.” Includes StateMod (, described by the Colorado Division of Water Resources as “a monthly and daily surface water allocation and accounting model capable of simulating various historical and future water management policies in a river basin,” as well as administrative call information (


Colorado Rapid Watershed Assessments

Developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado, these assessments “provide a description of the sub basins’ natural resources, resource concerns, conservation needs, and ability to resolve natural resource issues and concerns.”


Colorado Water Quality Control Division GIS data

Includes data on water quality standards, outstanding waters, impaired waters and total maximum daily loads.


NorWest Stream Temps – Regional Database and Modeled Stream Temperatures

The NorWeST webpage hosts stream temperature data and climate scenarios in a variety of user-friendly digital formats for streams and rivers across the western U.S.


QuarterQuad Maps of Noxious Weed Distribution and Abundance in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Agriculture develops these maps from annual surveys of county weed managers.


Tamarix Cooperative Mapping Initiative (T-Map)

T-Map was conceived by the USGS National Institute of Invasive Species Science to be a cooperative partnership. Its primary mission is to provide real-time accurate locational information on current Tamarix populations / infestations.



Listed according to study type: multi-topic, flow, aquatic biologyriparian biologywater qualitygeomorphology, or supply.




Colorado Basin Implementation Plan

By: SGM and Karl Hanlon for the Colorado Basin Roundtable, April 2015.
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: Plan developed as part of the statewide water planning process coordinated by the Colorado Water Conservation Board.


Colorado River Cooperative Agreement

By: Denver Water and Colorado West Slope entities,  2012
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes:  This agreement addresses actions all parties agree to take in recognition of both Denver Water’s need for additional supply security and impacts to the West Slope from transmountain diversions. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the 26th day of September, 2013. Cooperative Agreement Attachments found here


Statewide Water Supply Initiative – Colorado Basin Needs Assessment Report

By: CDM for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, 2012
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: Includes non-consumptive (environmental and recreational) needs assessment as well as consumptive needs assessment.


Environment and Ecology of the Colorado River Basin

By: Natalie Triedman, State of the Rockies Project, 2012
Type: Multi-topic
Notes: State of the Rockies Report Card. The Colorado River Basin is an environmental treasure that is an increasingly fragile system due to complex and diverse pressures.


Water and its Relationship to the Economies of the Headwater Counties

By: Coley/Forrest INC. for The Northwest Colorado Council of Governors Foundation INC., December 2011
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: This report seeks to solidify the connection between water supply, the local economies of headwaters counties and the State and describe the hazards of over allocation of West Slope water to the headwaters county economies and by extension, to the State.


The White River National Forest 5-Year Monitoring and Evaluation Report October 2002 – September 2007

By: United States Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region, August 2009
Type: Multi-topic
Notes: The following is the White River National Forest 2008 5-Year Monitoring and Evaluation Report. The report is the 5-year report as required in the Land & Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan), Chapter 4.


10825 Water Supply Alternatives Summar – Phase 2 Assessment
By: Grand River Consulting Corporation, July 2007
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: This study provides information regarding the viability, environmental impacts, issues, and costs of potential 10825 Water supply alternatives and facilities.


10825 Water Supply Study – Phase 1 Report

By: Grand River Consulting Corporation, July 2007
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: This Phase 1 alternatives study provides information regarding the viability, environmental impacts, issues and costs of 10825 water supply alternatives, which address flow needs for endangered fish in the Colorado River in the Grand Valley.


Upper Colorado River Basin Information

By: Colorado Division of Water Resources, January 2007
Type: Multi-topic
Notes: This report provides a broad overview of the Upper Colorado River Basin


Phase II Upper Colorado River Study Executive Summary

By: Hydrosphere Resource Consultants, May 2003
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: The Upper Colorado River Basin Study (UPCO) was initiated in 1998 to identify and investigate water quantity and quality issues in the Study Area consisting of Grand and Summit Counties. The primary goal of Phase II of UPCO was to develop the information and analytical tools necessary to understand existing hydrology and water quality conditions in the study area and how increased water diversions may impact those conditions


Relations of Benthic Macroinvertebrates to Concentrations of Trace Elements in Water, Streambed Sediments, and Transplanted Bryophytes and Stream Habitat Conditions in Nonmining and Mining Areas of the Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado, 1995–98

By: U.S. Geological Survey,  Scott V. Mize and Jeffrey R. Deacon, 2002
Type: Multi-topic
Notes: The purposes of this report are to (1) compare trace-element concentrations in the water column, streambed sediment, and transplanted bryophytes in the study area, with emphasis on six selected trace elements (aluminum, arsenic, copper, iron, lead, and zinc); (2) estimate bioconcentration of the six selected trace elements by using transplanted bryophytes in the study area; (3) evaluate stream habitat conditions in the study area; (4) compare benthic macroinvertebrate community composition at nonmining and mining sites in the study area; and (5) report the relation between natural and human-related factors affecting the concentration of the six selected trace elements in water, streambed sediment, and transplanted bryophytes at nonmining and mining sites in the study area.


Longitudinal Trends in Channel Characteristics of the Colorado River and Implications for Food-Web Dynamics

By: John Pitlick and Robert Cress, March 2000
Type: Multi-Topic
Notes: The work described in this report is part of a 3-part study to determine how lengthwise variations in the physical characteristics of the Colorado River (width, depth, substrate sediment size, water quality, etc.) influence the production and availability of foods used by benthic invertebrates and native fishes.


Bibliography, Indices and Data Sources of Water-Related Studies, Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado and Utah, 1872-1995

By: Nancy J. Bauch and Lori E. Apodaca, United States Geological Survey, 1995
Type: Multi-topic
Notes: Extensive bibliography



Evaluation of Mean-Monthly Streamflow-Regression Equations for Colorado, 2014​

By; U. S. Geological Survey, Michael S. Kohn, Michael R. Stevens, Andrew R. Bock, and Stephen J. Char, 2015
Type: Flow
Notes: The purpose of this report is to evaluate the streamflowregression equations presented in Capesius and Stephens (2009) by comparing the predictive uncertainty using streamflow data through calendar year 2013 for computation of mean-monthly streamflow for Colorado basins with hydrology that is influenced predominantly by natural runoff processes.


Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool

By: John Sanderson et al, March 2012 for the Colorado Basin Roundtable
Type: Flow
Notes: This tool compares historical to current flows in order to characterize the ecological or recreational risk that a given attribute may or may not be degraded based on flow conditions.


Cost Savings Savings Associated Associated with the Upper Colorado Colorado River Basin Endangered Endangered Fish Recovery Recovery Program, Program, Instream Flows, and Prospects for the Future

By: John Loomis and Jeff Ballweber Dept. of Ag. & Resource Economics, CSU, November 2010.
Type: Flow
Notes: “This report investigates the role of instream flows as part of a program to protect and recover certain water-dependent endangered species.”


Aquatic Biology

Modeling Whitewater Park Hydraulics and Fish Habitat in Colorado

By: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, US Bureau of Reclamation, Aquatic Wildlife Research Section, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, RIVER RESEARCH AND APPLICATIONS, June 2015.
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Addresses impacts of whitewater park features on fish.


Stream Habitat Investigations and Assistance

By: Matthew C. Kondratieff, Eric E. Richer, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2015.
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Evaluates fishery response to stream aquatic habitat treatments and physical response of streams to aquatic habitat treatments.


Population Trends of Smallmouth Bass in the Upper Colorado River Basin with an Evaluation of Removal Effects

By: Breton, A. R., D. L. Winkelman, J. A. Hawkins, and K. R. Bestgen , June 2014.
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu were rare in the upper Colorado River basin until the early 1990’s when their abundance dramatically increased in the Yampa River sub-basin. Increased abundance was due primarily to colonization from Elkhead Reservoir, which was rapidly drawn down twice, first to make improvements to the dam (1992) and a second time for reservoir expansion (2005), and allowed escapement of resident bass to the river through an unscreened outlet…


Colorado River Aquatic Resource Investigations Federal Aid Project F-237-R21

By: Colorado Parks & Wildlife Aquatic Research Section. August 2014
Type  Aquatic Biology
Notes: This project evaluated biological and ecological factors impacting sport fish populations in coldwater streams and rivers in Colorado.


Fragmentation and Thermal Risks from Climate Change Interact to affect persistence of native trout in the Colorado River Basin

By: James J. Roberts, Kurt D. Fausch, Douglas P. Peterson, Mevin B. Hooten. In Global Change Biology, May, 2013
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: “…We developed an empirical model to predict stream temperatures at the fragment scale from downscaled climate projections along with geomorphic and landscape variables. We coupled these spatially explicit predictions of stream temperature with a Bayesian Network (BN) model that integrates stochastic risks from fragmentation to project persistence of CRCT populations across the upper Colorado River basin to 2040 and 2080.”


Population Structure, abundance and recruitment of Colorado Pikeminnow of the Upper Colorado River

By: D.B. Osmundson, Fish and Wildlift Service, G.C. White, June 2014
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Mark-Recapture studies from 1991 through 2010 were used to asses population trends of Colorado pikeminnow ptychocheilus lucius in the upper colorado River​


Survival Rate Estimation and Movement of Hatchery-Reared Razorback Suckers Xyrauchen Texanus in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Utah and Colorado​

By: Koreen A. Zelasko and Kevin R. Bestgen, Larval Fish Laboratory CSU, Gary C. White, 2009
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: The highly modified Colorado River Basin of the desert Southwest supports several endangered species that are currently the focus of recovery efforts. One of these species, razorback sucker Xyrauchen texanus (Abbott), family Catostomidae, has experienced dramatic declines in distribution and abundance resulting largely from anthropogenic modifications to the basin.


Rangewide Conservation Agreement for Roundtail Chub, Bluehead Sucker, and Flannelmouth Sucker

By: Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Resources, September 2006
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: This Conservation Agreement (Agreement) has been developed to expedite implementation of conservation measures for roundtail chub (Gila robusta), bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), and flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis), hereinafter referred to as the three species, throughout their respective ranges as a collaborative and cooperative effort among resource agencies.


Status Review of Roundtail chub Gila robusta, Flannelmouth Sucker Catostomus latipinnis, and Bluehead
​Sucker Catostomus discobolus in the Colorado River Basin

By: Nick Bezzerides and Kevin Bestgen, September 2002
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes:  The purpose of this report is to summarize taxonomy, physical characteristics, and life history information for roundtail chub Gila robusta, flannelmouth sucker Catostomus latipinnis, and bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus in the Colorado River Basin (CRB), Southwest USA, and to document their historical and recent distribution and abundance.


Effects of Water Quality and Habitat on Composition of Fish Communities in the Upper Colorado River Basin

By: U.S. Department of the Interior – U.S. Geological Survey October 1997
Type: AquaticBiology
Notes: Natural and human factors in the Upper Colorado River Basin result in differences in water quality and fish habitat. Fish community composition is associated with differences in water temperature, concentrations of dissolved solids and suspended sediment, elevation, habitat, and land use.


Trace Elements in Streambed Sediment and Fish Liver at Selected Sites in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado, 1995–96​

See Also: Fact Sheet
By:  Jeffrey R. Deacon and Verlin C. Stephens, 1995-96
Type: Aquatic Biology
Notes: Trace elements were analyzed in streambed-sediment samples collected from 16 sites and in fish-liver samples collected from 14 sites in the Upper Colorado River Basin in Colorado as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment program. Sites sampled represented agricultural, mining, mixed, and urban/recreation land uses and background conditions.


Riparian Biology

Colorado River Basin Tamarisk and Russian Olive Assessment

By: Tamarisk Coalition, for the December 2009
Type: Riparian Biology
Notes: Prepared for parties to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate activities for tamarisk management in the Colorado River Basin. The Parties to the MOU are the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Colorado Water Conservation Board, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Six Agency Committee, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Utah Division of Water Resources, and Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.


Saltcedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act Science Assessment

By: Patrick B. Shafroth¹, Curtis A. Brown², and David M. Merritt³; ¹ U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center; ² Bureau of Reclamation;³ USDA Forest Service, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants Staff, 2009
Type: Riparian Biology
Notes: From Executive Summary: “This document synthesizes the state-of-the-science on the following topics: the distribution and abundance (extent) of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the Western United States, potential for water savings associated with controlling saltcedar and Russian olive and the associated restoration of occupied sites, considerations related to wildlife use of saltcedar and Russian olive habitat or restored habitats, methods to control saltcedar and Russian olive, possible utilization of dead biomass following removal of saltcedar and Russian olive, and approaches and challenges associated with revegetation or restoration following control efforts.”


Colorado Headwaters Invasives Partnership A Consolidated Woody Invasive Species Management Plan for Colorado’s Colorado, Gunnison, Uncompahgre, Dolores, White, and Yampa/Green Watersheds

By: Colorado River Water Conservation District The Nature Conservancy Tamarisk Coalition, July 2008
Type: Riparian Biology
Notes: In September 2005 a partnership formed to develop a strategic plan for the Colorado River’s riparian areas impacted by non-native invasive trees, principally tamarisk (Tamarix spp., aka salt cedar) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia).


Water Quality

Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report

By: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), 2016
Type: Water Quality
Notes:  “This report provides Colorado’s assessments of water quality that were conducted during the past five years. Specifically, it compares water quality of surface waters within Colorado to the corresponding standards in order to assess the degree to which waters are in attainment of those standards. The Integrated Report provides the attainment status of all surface waters according to the five reporting categories, defined in detail within. This report also includes a description of groundwater quality activity and links to agencies involved with groundwater monitoring.” The report also notes that CDPHE has migrated assessment data to a new GIS database.


Characterization and Data-Gap Analysis of Surface-Water Quality in the Piceance Study Area, Western Colorado, 1959–2009

By: U.S. Geological Survey, Thomas, J.C., Moore, J.L., Schaffrath, K.R., Dupree, J.A., Williams, C.A., and Leib, K.J., 2013
Type: Water Quality
Notes: This report contains data summaries, comparisons to water-quality standards, trend analyses, a generalized spatial analysis, and a data-gap analysis for select water-quality properties and constituents.


Salinization of the Upper Colorado River— Fingerprinting Geologic Salt Sources

By: U.S. Geological Survey, 2009
Type: Water Quality
Notes: The scientific objective of this study was two-fold: (1) develop diagnostic geochemical tracers for the major geologic sources of salt to the upper Colorado River and (2) demonstrate the use of these tracers to understanding contributions of non-point geologic sources of salt to the upper Colorado River.


Algal Data from Selected Sites in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Colorado, Water Years 1996–97​

By: U.S. Geological Survey, Scott V. Mize and Jeffrey R. Deacon, 2001
Type: Water Quality
Notes:This report presents algal data collected by the USGS for the UCOL-NAWQA Program during water years 1996–97.



Colorado River System Consumptive Uses and Losses Reports

By: US Bureau of Reclamation, 1971-2015
Type: Supply
Notes: Reports for every five year period, beginning in 1971. Includes data for the Upper Colorado River Basin Colorado River Mainstem subbasin.


Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study

By: US Bureau of Reclamation, et al, December 2012
Type: Supply
Notes: Most comprehensive, long-term assessment of supply and demand in the Colorado River Basin to date; serving as a foundation policy, planning and negotiation between the entities that rely on the waters of the Colorado River Basin.


Colorado River Water Availability Study Phase 1 Report

By: Colorado Water Conservation Board, et al. March 2012
Type: Supply
Notes: Phase I of the Colorado River Water Availability Study (the Study or CRWAS) provides an unprecedented foundation for water resources planning in Colorado. The Study, which began in 2008, combines the data and models developed by the CWCB and the Division of Water Resources over the last 15 years with new information on past droughts and wet spells and possible future changes in climatic conditions to produce the most comprehensive look to date at the Colorado River water supply in our state.


Energy Development Water Needs Assessment Update (Phase III, Final Report)

By: AMEC Environment & Infrastructure and Canyon Water Resources, LLC for the Colorado and Yampa-White Basin Roundtables, June 30, 2014
Type: Supply
Notes: Estimates water needs for future oil shale, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy development in western Colorado.


Draft Energy Development Water Needs Assessment (Phase 1 Report)

By: URS Corporation for Colorado, Yampa, and White River Basin Roundtables Energy Subcommittee, September 2008
Type: Supply
Notes: Section Seven of this report deals with Conditional Water Rights and includes information four water districts (39, 45, 70, and 72) Colorado River Basin.