- About WIP
- Participating Entities
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- City of Durango Water Commission
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Dolores Conservation District
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- Empire Electric Association
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- La Plata Archuleta Water District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- Mancos Conservation District
- Mancos Water Conservancy District
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD)
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- Regional Water Projects
- Animas River Stakeholders
- Animas-La Plata Project
- Cloud Seeding Program
- Dolores Project (McPhee Reservoir)
- Dry Gulch Reservoir (Pending)
- Florida Project (Lemon Reservoir)
- Jackson Gulch Reservoir
- Long Hollow Reservoir
- Pine River Project (Vallecito Reservoir)
- Rio Blanco Restoration Project
- River Protection Work Group
- UMETCO (Urivan) Water Rights
- Water Information
- Contact WIP
Dolores Water Conservancy District
A conceptual plan for aiding native fish on the Lower Dolores River was approved by the Dolores Water Conservancy District in June. The District has been negotiating with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the BLM, Forest Service, and conservation groups on ways to improve native fish habitat below McPhee Dam.
McPhee Reservoir is the centerpiece of the Dolores Project, which expanded irrigation to 28,500 acres of land from Yellow Jacket to Dove Creek and to 7,600 acres of Ute Mountain Ute Farm and Ranch operations. These irrigated lands produce some of the highest-quality dairy hay in the West, along with a variety of other crops, including 640 acres of native seed that is being used to restore BLM lands across the west. The project also provides water to a growing number of smaller vegetable producers.
The story titled “McPhee puts a plug in Dolores” (Herald, May 29) treats one of the most valued resources in Montezuma and Dolores counties in a manner that is judgmental and completely lacking in context.
The invasive quagga and zebra mussels have not been detected in McPhee Reservoir, but they’re causing havoc in nearby Lake Powell. Boat inspections at McPhee have been effective in keeping the pests out of local waters so far. However, with shrinking budgets for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Services, the critical checkpoints have an uncertain future.
April 10, 2014--Snowpack not enough to keep lower Dolores River running for recreation (Durango Telegraph)
For the second year in a row, it’s just not enough. McPhee Reservoir near Dolores has enough water to meet its basic obligations, but not enough for those looking to enjoy whitewater boating in the lower Dolores River. “There’s a lot of disappointed boaters,” said Lee-Ann Hill, program coordinator for the Dolores River Boating Advocates.
It was supposed to be floated into position last summer, but a new breakwater system for the McPhee Reservoir boat launch is still lying on shore. Engineering snags for the structure’s anchor design have delayed the project indefinitely, according to officials with Montezuma County and the San Juan National Forest.
There is a lot going on these days that could affect the Dolores Project and many recent events have received newspaper coverage.
A experimental irrigation program using Totten Reservoir is helping out McElmo Canyon farmers. The small lake, east of Cortez, is owned by the Dolores Water Conservancy District. But there has not been much irrigation use for it since the installation of the Towaoc Highline Canal.
The news continues to improve for irrigators planning for this year’s crops season, thanks to recent snowstorms. The Dolores Water Conservancy District, which operates McPhee Reservoir, forecasts full-service users will receive at least 15 inches per allocated acre of the 22 inches of a full contractual amount.
There is a lot going on these days that could affect the Dolores Project and many recent events have received newspaper coverage. This column is intended to put these events into a broader context that will help those who are interested understand what is going on as this story continues to unfold.