During the early planning stages of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, what has become known as the Winter Water Storage Program (WWSP) was formulated. As a result, the concept of a WWSP evolved with the objective of storing irrigation water that would have been diverted to the fields by irrigation entities downstream of Pueblo Reservoir during the winter months. This stored water would then be released during the following irrigation season. Through meaningful negotiations and the experience and data gained each year, refinements and adjustments were made to the WWSP with the goal of arriving at an equitable means of apportioning the stored water among the WWSP participants and avoiding injury to non-participants.
Following intensive negotiations and finally reaching unanimous consent of the participants and objectors, an interlocutory decree was approved by Water Court Judge Tracey on November 10, 1987. Judge Tracey entered an order making the interlocutory decree final on November 10, 1990. The WWSP runs from November 15 through March 14 of the following year.
The participants in the WWSP store their WWSP water primarily in Pueblo Reservoir, but also use Lake Henry and Lake Meredith under the Colorado Canal system, Holbrook and Dye Reservoirs under the Holbrook System, Adobe and Horse Creek Reservoirs under the Fort Lyon System, Great Plains Reservoirs under the Amity System and in John Martin Reservoir. Priority for storage of WWSP water in Pueblo Reservoir when space is limited goes to entities not having off channel reservoirs.
The Board of Directors of the Winter Water Storage Program meets at least once a year usually in October prior to the beginning of the WWSP.