Yampa River Health Assessment & Streamflow Management Plan

Yampa River Health Assessment and Streamflow Management Plan

About the Plan

The City of Steamboat Springs is leading the development of a plan to improve the health and resiliency of the Yampa River during times of drought and in the face of changing future climatic conditions and water use demands. Key objectives of the project are to identify target flows needed to support river health and community needs and to prioritize actions and projects to achieve measurable progress toward these targets.

The plan will be based on a comprehensive assessment of river health using best available data and the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and the community. City staff has engaged an Advisory Committee to guide the plan’s development and hired a team of consultants with expertise in river science and community planning. The project will address the reach of the Yampa River from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the City of Steamboat Springs Waste Water Treatment Facility.

River Sunset

City Council

Unanimously Adopted the Final Plan at City Council Meeting on August 28, 2018

Tasks and Timeline

 Phase 1 February - April 2017

  • Convene an Advisory Committee
  • Develop a Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  • Assess sources of data, reports, and expertise

 Phase 2 April - November 2017

  • Conduct river health assessment
  • Determine targets for flows and other health goals
  • Evaluate water management strategies
  • Evaluate restoration project opportunities

 Phase 3 November 2017 – April 2018

  • Identify possible scenarios and strategies
  • Evaluate and prioritize alternatives
  • Develop an implementation plan

 Phase 4 April - June 2018

  • Draft plan for review by stakeholders and community
  • Complete plan for presentation to City Council

Community Involvement

Stakeholder and public involvement is a critical component of this planning process.  The stakeholder engagement plan includes the creation of an Advisory Committee that meets throughout the process, outreach to multiple stakeholder groups, and community workshops. 

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Community Workshop #2 - April 18, 2018YRHASMP Community Workshop April 2018

  • Community Workshop Presentation

Advisory Committee

The City has convened an Advisory Committee to represent primary stakeholders, guide the planning process, provide technical expertise, and evaluate feasible strategies and solutions. The Advisory Committee is made up of representatives of the following agencies and organizations:

  • City of Steamboat Springs Parks & Recreation
  • City of Steamboat Springs Public Works
  • Routt County Environmental Health
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Colorado Water Trust
  • Community Agriculture Alliance
  • Trout Unlimited – Colorado Water Project
  • Yampa Valley Fly Fishers
  • Friends of the Yampa
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Upper Yampa Watershed Group
  • Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District

Partners and Funding

Several partners contributed funding to make this project possible. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) awarded the City a Watershed Restoration Grant to cover almost half of the project cost. The Yampa/White/Green Basin Roundtable supports the project through Water Supply Reserve Account funding (also from CWCB). The City of Steamboat Springs contributed cash and in-kind match. Routt County and Yampa Valley Fly Fishers also helped to fund the project.

Project Funding

Yampa River 5th Street Monitoring Site

Real-Time Flows & Temperatures

USGS Current Conditions for USGS

Project Contacts

Kelly Romero-Heaney, Water Resources Manager
City of Steamboat Springs
Email Kelly Romero-Heaney
(970) 871-8205; Fax: (970) 879-8851

Julie Baxter, Project Manager
Activity Associates
Email Julie Baxter
(303) 335-6472


Consultant Team

The City selected a consultant team through a competitive proposal process to assist in preparing the Streamflow Management Plan. The City has contracted with Acclivity Associates, supported by Lotic Hydrological and EcoMetrics, to complete project management and technical tasks.

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EcoMetrics Logo
Lotic logo