SMP Nuts and Bolts

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Ensure Adequate Funds

Budgeting for the SMP process is a challenging and important step to securing funding. It is important to plan the entire SMP process, even if only a portion is undertaken at a time. Costs to consider include project management, stakeholder engagement/outreach, data collection/inventory, analysis, etc. Try to have a relevant consultant review cost estimates to ensure that the estimates are realistic.

Funding (cash and in-kind) should come from a variety of sources. Most grants (including the CWCB Colorado Water Plan grants under the Watershed Health & Recreation funding category) require cost-share among multiple partners. Having community-level support can also promote leadership and ownership by the community. Typical funding sources include project partners/stakeholders including Basin Roundtables, municipalities, counties, nonprofits, state agencies and local businesses. Some SMPs are able to secure non-governmental grants from private sources or foundations to offset costs.


  1. An outline of the CWCB funding opportunity is provided on the SMP 101 Funding page.
  2. River Network’s 2019 SMP Workshop at the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference included a discussion of cash funding source ideas.
  3.  The funding section of the SMP Summaries of existing SMPs throughout the state can provide an understanding of the variability of cost estimates and an overview of matching fund contributors.
  4. The Middle Colorado IWMP budget and Yampa IWMP budget provide examples of the types of line items to consider and format to use.
  5. CWCB’s Water Funding Opportunity Navigator keeps up-to-date information on funding opportunities from state and federal sources which can be relevant to SMPs.
  6. The following pre-planning questions may help you consider the full array of existing information.

Have your key stakeholders pledged financial and in-kind support? If not, why?


Have you approached the Basin Roundtable for funds?


Have you reviewed the budgets of other SMPs with a similar scope and scale to ensure you have adequate funds to accomplish your tasks?

Colorado SMP Library