La Plata Water Conservancy District (LPWCD)
PO Box 71
Marvel, CO 81329-0071
The LPWCD is a political subdivision of Colorado known as a Special District, created by petition and judicial decree under Title 37, Article 45, C.R.S. in April 1944.
The 1922 La Plata River Compact, approved by Congress in 1925, requires the State of Colorado to deliver one-half of the daily mean flow of the La Plata River measured at the Hesperus stream gage to the La Plata River State Line gage the following day from February 15th to December 1st (Compact period), not to exceed 100 cubic feet per second. Each state has an unrestricted right of use to La Plata River water between December 1st and February 15th. Historically, Colorado has not always been able to satisfy the Compact due to a variety of factors, including low stream flows, surface flow loss to groundwater, evapotranspiration and increasing water demands. Moreover, attempting to deliver water to meet the Compact from Hesperus results in significant delivery losses to the system.
In order to help meet Compact requirements and limit delivery losses, the LPWCD has completed the construction of the Bobby K. Taylor Reservoir to provide a more efficient delivery mechanism. This efficiency will allow Colorado water users to divert water that would otherwise be curtailed by Compact delivery obligations.
The LPWCD’s mandate is to provide for the conservation and development of the waters of the La Plata River and its tributaries. An excerpt from the 1944 formation decree indicates:
“That the purposes for which said district is established are: To construct a reservoir on the La Plata River in La Plata County, Colorado for the storage of water to be utilized to supplement the natural flow of the La Plata River during irrigation season, with outlet and inlet canals; to build such ditches und canals as may be incidental thereto; and to exercise all powers conferred by law to construct such “works” as may be necessary for the benefit of the territory included in said district.”
The LPWCD is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors and adopts an annual budget based upon a mill levy. Directors are appointed to a four-year term of office by the district judge. The present Directors are as follows:
- Brice Lee, President
- Trent Taylor
- Davin Montoya
- Geoffrey Burbey
- J. Pat Greer
- Matt Isgar
- Dan Huntington
- Josh Wood, Dam Tender