Dolores Water Conservancy District


P.O. Box 1150
60 South Cactus
Cortez, CO 81321
(970) 565-7562
(970) 565-0870 [Fax]


The Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) was formed in 1961 to operate the Dolores Project to provide benefits to wide range of water needs and collect funds to repay the Federal Government. The Dolores Project provides water to meet multiple water needs in Montezuma and Dolores Counties including: irrigation of 28,000 acres of full service land; 7,600 acres of full service land on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (UMUT) Reservation; municipal water for the City of Cortez, the UMUT Town of Towaoc, and Town of Dove Creek; a cold water trout fishery immediately below McPhee Dam and native fishery further downstream; wetlands and wildlife habitat; supplemental irrigation water to the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC); improve the scheduling of peak flow releases to provide white water boating opportunities below the dam; and recreation on McPhee Reservoir. McPhee Reservoir has a total capacity of 381,000 AF of which 229,000 AF is active capacity and 152,000 AF is inactive. Water is released for irrigation and municipal use through the Dolores tunnel and through the Great Cut Dike. Water for the downstream fishery is released through the 1.3 MW McPhee Dam Power Plant to the Dolores River. Facilities to convey water to the numerous users include: 80 miles of canal, 7 pumping plants, 82 miles of buried pipe laterals, and 11.5 MW Towaoc Power Plant. Additional information is available on the DWCD website.


The DWCD is governed by a seven member Board of Directors who serve four-year terms. The Board adopts an annual budget based upon a mill levy. The present Directors and their positions on the Board are as follows:

Bruce Smart, President
Simon Martinez, Vice President
Walter Henes, Secretary/Treasurer
Don Schwindt, Director
Godwin Oliver, Director
Robert Vedsted, Director
David Frederick, Director
Michael Preston, General Manager

The Board meetings, which are open to the public, begin at 7:00 pm the second Thursday of each month at 60 South Cactus.