Basin Facts

- According to the Colorado Water Conservation Boards’ Statewide Water Supply Initiative Studies, the Dolores/San Juan/San Miguel River Basin is projected to experience an increase in municipal and industrial (M&I) and self-supplied industrial (SSI) water demand of 18,800 acre-feet (AF) by 2030. Of the 18,800 AF of increased water demand in the Basin, the majority is proposed to be met through existing supplies and water rights and through the implementation of identified projects and processes. However, there are still some anticipated shortfalls expected in certain portions of the basin.

- American Rivers named the Animas River in southwestern Colorado one of the "most endangered rivers" in the United States.

Click here for additional information about the Dolores/San Juan/San Miguel River Basin

The following is a partial list of ‘Water Facts' from the Colorado State University website:

  • Almost 90 percent of Colorado's naturally occurring lakes are found at altitudes above 9,000 feet;
  • Eighty-seven percent of the water leaving Colorado flows out of the Colorado River basin toward the Pacific Ocean; the remaining 13 percent flows out of the Missouri, Arkansas, and Rio Grande river basins toward the Atlantic Ocean;
  • Over 1,300 miles of streams in Colorado are impacted by metals as a result of acid mine drainage;
  • Riparian habitat makes up less than three percent of the land in Colorado, but is used by over 90 percent of the wildlife in the state; and
  • There are more than 9,000 miles of streams and 2,000 lakes and reservoirs open to fishing in Colorado.

For a complete listing of ‘Cool Water Facts,' visit the Colorado State University website at

Miscellaneous Facts to Know and Tell:

Related to Oil and Gas:

As of November 2008, Colorado had 36,734 active natural gas wells. La Plata County is the leader in natural gas production within the state of Colorado (with the least amount of wells) and ranks sixth in the nation. Twenty-seven percent of the total natural gas produced in Colorado comes from La Plata County—down from 2007, when they were 40 percent. Additional statistics include:


·         At the end of 2008 there were 3,031 producing wells in La Plata County.

·         Of the total active wells in La Plata County, almost 95% are producing natural gas.

·         80% of states coalbed methane production comes from La Plata County.

·         Coalbed methane gas wells account for over half of all gas wells producing in La Plata County.

Source: and personal conversation with Christy Zeller.