Coloradoans sense a natural relationship with their water resources. Miraculously, the winter snowpack slowly releases its stored moisture for beneficial use in homes, businesses and on farms. Mountain canyons provide natural storage sites to make possible even more storage and water management. The snowpack provides a skier's wonderland in winter and spring and a fishing and boating paradise during summer and fall. The rushing waters grind rocks which deposit over a millennia and become alluvial aquifers that enable additional water management possibilities. This water management is an important key to Colorado's three largest economic sectors: industry, agriculture and recreation. To manage this gift is our challenge. The Institute's part is to provide the funds and research organization needed by creative scientists and teams as they seek to bring insight and new facts to aid in water management. CWRRI was born out of the Water Resources Research Act of 1964; in 1990 it finished its first 25 years of service. This publication describes some of the achievements of that quarter century and the challenges that lie ahead.