Yampa River

Integrated Water Management Plan

What is the IWMP?

The Yampa White Green Basin Roundtable is leading the development of an Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP). The process will combine community input with science and engineering assessments to identify actions to protect existing and future water uses and support healthy river ecosystems in the face of growing populations, changing land uses, and climate uncertainty.

This is a community effort, led by people who live and work in the Yampa Valley, and care about the river and its future.

The project is focusing on four segments of the river: Upper, Middle and Lower mainstem Yampa and the Elk River. Future phases may expand into the other tributaries.

Project Fact Sheet

View the project fact sheet to learn about its goals and activities.


The IWMP seeks to identify and spur projects and strategies that benefit water users, the environment and recreational users. These multi-benefit efforts cannot be accomplished by one entity alone, but require a collaboration amongst water users and land owners, non-profit organizations, and local government. The videos below profile a few such projects that are already underway.

Lower Elkhead Creek Restoration

This project, spearheaded by Trout Unlimited, is an example of the kind of multi-benefit project the IWMP hopes to spur.

Bear River Irrigation Infrastructure Improvements

This set of projects, all supported by the Basin Roundtable, seek to support Bear River irrigators as they upgrade and modernize diversion infrastructure


A committee of volunteers selected by and reporting to the Basin Roundtable coordinates the project. Committee members have experience in water management, agriculture, fisheries and recreation. The project also relies on hired community engagement, river science and engineering professionals. To help keep the process moving forward the IWMP Committee created two Sub-Committees, the Technical Sub-Committee and the Stakeholder Sub-Committee. All meetings are open to interested members of the public.


The project’s 2018 Scope of Work outlines its goals and tasks. We’re charting a path forward. Between 2019 and 2022, we’ll hear from stakeholders and complete science and engineering assessments. The result will be a ranked list of issues that stakeholders want to tackle, as well as plans and funding options to implement priority actions. Explore the various elements of the planning process via the pages below.

Through surveys and interviews in 2020, our team collected ideas from a variety of stakeholders to identify priority reaches for improved river health and recreation, as well as ideas to better meet water users’ needs. Results from that work are available to explore as of January 2021.

Inventories of water use, river flows, riverside land condition, fishery health and water quality will characterize current conditions and identify knowledge gaps. We’ll collect data on important variables in priority reaches, including diversion infrastructure to understand how well it is meeting water users’ needs and identify opportunities for improvement.

We’ll blend data on ecosystem conditions and water user needs to assess future risk to priority issues like fisheries, irrigation and drinking water, and riverside habitat. We’ll evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of solutions, and develop action and funding plans for implementation.


Contact the project's Segment Coordinator for more information or to be added to the email list.

The IWMP is designed to benefit multiple users of the river. Below you can find the tasks and information relevant to specific stakeholder groups.

Water rights and diversion infrastructure

River ecology, flow and recreation access

Water quality and future supply