In the 1930’s, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation conducted feasibility studies for construction of the Florida Project, and Lemon Reservoir was constructed in 1963 which provides supplemental irrigation water for 19,450 acres of agricultural land. Lemon Reservoir is approximately 0.5 miles wide and 3 miles long with a surface area of 622 acres, and a total capacity of the reservoir is 40,146 acre feet. In additiona to the construction of Lemon Dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation work included rebuilding the Florida Farmers Diversion Dam, enlarging 3.9 miles of the Florida Canal, and building a new lateral system to serve about 3,360 acres of land in the southeast portion of the Florida Mesa. Including the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, there are 973 project users which during an average year are delivered approximately 24,360 acre feet of water to users on the Florida Mesa. This Project water is delivered through the conveyance system owned and operated by the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company
Lemon Dam is the principal feature of the Florida Project, which is a participating project of the Colorado River Storage Project. The dam is located in Southwestern Colorado on the Florida River, approximately 14 miles northeast of Durango in La Plata County. Floodwaters of the Florida River are stored in the reservoir formed by the dam, and regulated releases can provide supplemental irrigation water for 19,450 acres. Water is released form the reservoir as needed and conveyed in the natural river channel to the heads of the various downstream canals and ditches that divert the flow and distribute the water to project lands. The Florida Water Conservancy District (FWCD) manages the Project.
For more information contact the FWCD at 1523 County Road 243, Durango, CO 81301, (970) 247-5332 or (970) 247-5887. Or visit the FWCD USBR Website.