Southwestern Water Conservation District
841 East Second Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
The Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) was created on April 16, 1941 by the Colorado General Assembly through House Bill #795 (Statute 37-47). The District is comprised of nine counties: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan, San Miguel, and parts of Hinsdale, Mineral, and Montrose. Each Board of County Commissioners appoints a representative to the District Board of Directors, which meets bi-monthly. Upcoming meeting agendas and recent minutes are available online.
SWCD’s charter is to protect, conserve, use and develop the water resources of the Southwestern basin for the welfare of the District, and safeguard for Colorado all waters of the basin to which the state is entitled. Following this mandate, the District has assumed a broad strategic role on behalf of its diverse constituents. District representatives advocate for southwestern Colorado’s water interests at the local, state and regional level. Click here to get information about water-related legislation being considered in Colorado.
Funded by property taxes, SWCD currently funds a variety of essential work, including vital stream flow data collection by the US Geological Survey, water quality sampling through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, water supply augmentation through weather modification, endangered fish species recovery efforts in the San Juan Basin, and compact water bank programs in Colorado. Several significant water storage reservoirs have been built within the District to ensure adequate water supplies to meet current and future needs. The District’s most recent budgets approved by the board each December can be found on the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
SWCD’s substantial grant program supports local efforts across the District, among them water supply projects, recreational development, environmental improvements, collaborative community processes, and water quality studies. Click here for more information about the grant program.
For more than 20 years, the District has spearheaded regional water education by sponsoring an Annual Children’s Water Festival for students across the basin and administering the Water Information Program with contributions from participating entities. For more than 30 years, the District has invited prominent experts to share their expertise at the Annual Water Seminar in Durango. To see presentations from previous seminars, click here.