What are the benefits of Stream Management Plans?

SMPs can result in a diversity of projects and next steps. Goals, projects, and outcomes that have emerged from stream management plans include everything from water management objectives to revegetation and riparian restoration work to educational goals and policy changes. Examples include:

Bank stabilization and channel restoration to improve fish habitat and raise water to allow irrigation diversions to function (Grand County)

Planting vegetation along a river to cool water temperatures (Steamboat Springs)

Establishing long-term funding sources for river management (Grand County)

Negotiating power to mitigate the impacts of additional water diverted through a trans-basin diversion (Grand County)

Coordinated management of water releases from an upstream reservoir to increase flows through a dry reach (Steamboat Springs)

Leasing water to meet in-stream flow water rights (Crystal)

Reconstructing a diversion to allow fish passage (Crystal)

Bringing diverse stakeholders together and building trust can enhance ongoing working relationships, water decision making, and future coordinated planning initiatives

In addition to actual projects from completed plans, there are also several possible benefits as other plans are completed, including


Integrating green infrastructure into city standards to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality


Developing an in-school educational curriculum related to water


Construction of new multi-purpose storage to meet gaps in municipal, industrial and environmental needs


Development of new recreation facilities to attract economic development and meet community desires


Consolidation of existing diversions to reduce the number of structures in the river and increase water management efficiency


Placing riparian lands into conservation easement to guard against future land use changes


Leasing or purchasing water to avoid new listings or downgrade existing listings of threatened or endangered species

Colorado SMP Library