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An urgent call for Equity, Justice, & Sustainability in Colorado Water Policy

Updated: Apr 3

Colorado's water management system is at a critical crossroads, demanding immediate and decisive action to rectify systemic injustices that have persisted since the settlement of the Western United States. The analysis presented in this report underscores the urgent need for bold reforms that prioritize equity, justice, and sustainability.

Let there be no mistake: the status quo is unacceptable. Communities of color, indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups have long been sidelined in water governance, their voices drowned out by entrenched interests and historical inequities. It is time to dismantle these barriers and center the knowledge, experiences, and needs of those most affected by water policies.

We must acknowledge that traditional knowledge is technical expertise. The centuries-old wisdom of indigenous peoples and communities of color in managing water resources is invaluable and must be recognized and respected in decision-making processes.

As activists and advocates, we must demand more than incremental change. We must demand a complete overhaul of Colorado's water management framework—a framework that values profit over people, privilege over justice, and exploitation over stewardship.

Let us heed the calls of frontline communities, whose livelihoods depend on equitable access to water. Let us amplify their voices and demand a future where water is not a source of division but a unifying force for justice and resilience.

The time for action is now. Colorado cannot afford to wait. Let us rise together, in solidarity, to build a water future that honors the rights and dignity of all its residents. Anything less is a betrayal of our shared humanity.

Read the full paper here!

2024 water equity paper
Download PDF • 6.64MB

Report By: 

Fatuma Emmad, FrontLine Farming Executive Director, Head Farmer and Co-Founder

Dr. Damien Thompson, FrontLine Farming Director and Co-Founder

Kassandra Neiss, FrontLine Farming Director of Research and Data Activism

Nicole Civita, FrontLine Farming Research and Development Consultant


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