software provides easy access to water information

Samantha Fox
Damaged and Moldy old watercolor paper.
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Water laws are complicated and information is hard to come by.

Watered down, water resources are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. But information about how that water is managed, who has senior rights, etc., isn’t easy to find.

That’s where Water Sage comes into play. The information comes at a price, and is limited to Colorado, Wyoming, California, Montana and Texas. Access to this information just got easier now that a new partnership has been formed between Ponderosa Advisors, which owns Water Sage, and the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

The Partnership was formed to enhance a course aimed at educating community leaders on the current policy and issues surrounding Colorado water.

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education started its Water Fluency course a couple of years ago, and Water Sage will add an additional element to the three-month course.

“Water is crucial to communities across Colorado, affecting everything from local recreation and tourism economies, to agricultural production, public health and interstate politics — but it isn’t always clear to new leaders how water management decisions are made or what the possibilities are,” said Jayla Poppleton, executive director of Colorado Foundation for Water Education in a news release about the partnership. “This new partnership with Water Sage will help us expand our educational teachings and expose participants to use cases where they can literally take on and solve some of Colorado’s real-life water challenges — there’s really nothing else like this.”


Water Sage’s software is online-based and provides information regarding four main areas of interest: structures, well permits, land parcels and gages.

The structures include anything with water rights tied to them, whether it’s a stream, ditch or reservoir. The information for the wells are limited to those with approved well permits, including historical data.

Water Sage also provides information regarding tracts of land, including the owner, boundaries and acreage. This can be useful for farmers looking into properties or trying to find properties tied to access to certain waters.

The gage aspect provides water information, including stream flow or water quality and levels.

Say you’re interested in finding out who has water rights to Horsetooth Reservoir in northern Colorado. Water Sage has that information and can provide it in an Excel-like format. The information includes who has the rights, what the priorities are and more.

This is the same area of Water Sage where someone can also find any water court decision that led to a change of rights or what waters are used for irrigation purposes.

“It is no secret that when it comes to water, there are no easy solutions or conversations,” Poppleton said in a news release.

But with Water Sage, the goal is to at least make the accessibility to water information a little bit easier.

— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at (970) 392-4410, or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm