- About WIP
- Participating Entities
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- City of Durango Utility Commission
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Dolores Conservation District
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- Empire Electric Association
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- La Plata Archuleta Water District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- Mancos Conservation District
- Mancos Water Conservancy District
- Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD)
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- Town of Silverton
- Town of Telluride
- Regional Water Projects
- Animas-La Plata Project (Lake Nighthorse)
- Animas River Stakeholders
- Cloud Seeding Program
- Dolores Project (McPhee Reservoir)
- Dry Gulch Reservoir (Pending)
- Florida Project (Lemon Reservoir)
- Mancos Project (Jackson Gulch Reservoir)
- Long Hollow Reservoir
- Pine River Project (Vallecito Reservoir)
- Rio Blanco Restoration Project
- River Protection Work Group
- Water Information
- Contact WIP
On a recent flight over McPhee Reservior Lee-Ann Hill, program coordinator for Dolores River Boating Advocates, peered out the plane window as they flew over mountains, Mancos and finally McPhee Dam to trace the path of the Dolores River. “There!” she said.
The invasive quagga and zebra mussels have not been detected in McPhee Reservoir, but they’re causing havoc in nearby Lake Powell. Boat inspections at McPhee have been effective in keeping the pests out of local waters so far. However, with shrinking budgets for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Services, the critical checkpoints have an uncertain future.
April 10, 2014--Snowpack not enough to keep lower Dolores River running for recreation (Durango Telegraph)
For the second year in a row, it’s just not enough. McPhee Reservoir near Dolores has enough water to meet its basic obligations, but not enough for those looking to enjoy whitewater boating in the lower Dolores River. “There’s a lot of disappointed boaters,” said Lee-Ann Hill, program coordinator for the Dolores River Boating Advocates.
It was supposed to be floated into position last summer, but a new breakwater system for the McPhee Reservoir boat launch is still lying on shore. Engineering snags for the structure’s anchor design have delayed the project indefinitely, according to officials with Montezuma County and the San Juan National Forest.
The news continues to improve for irrigators planning for this year’s crops season, thanks to recent snowstorms. The Dolores Water Conservancy District, which operates McPhee Reservoir, forecasts full-service users will receive at least 15 inches per allocated acre of the 22 inches of a full contractual amount.
There is a lot going on these days that could affect the Dolores Project and many recent events have received newspaper coverage. This column is intended to put these events into a broader context that will help those who are interested understand what is going on as this story continues to unfold.
Tropical Storm Ivo brought just shy of 2 inches of rain to much of the Dolores River Basin near the end of August. The rain provided a dichotomous situation for the thirsty land of Southwest Colorado. Along with the welcome moisture came a flash flood on the Lower Dolores River in Slickrock Canyon.
Cortez’s water rights date back to 1892, when the Dunham & Johnson Ditch, Giogetta Ditch, Illinois Ditch, and Sheek Ditch were decreed for irrigation on the Dolores River above the town of Dolores.
Cortez’s rainfall in September of 2.74 inches has more than doubled the 30-year average, of 1.31 inches as of Monday, said National Weather Service observer Jim Andrus. “We’re still seeing the benefits of the monsoon season, and catching the edge of recent tropical storms in Mexico,” Andrus said.
A better understanding of the needs of native fish on the Lower Dolores river below McPhee dam is key to their survival, two fish biologists told local water boards recently. Jim White and David Graf of Colorado Parks and Wildlife briefed board members of the Dolores Water Conservancy District and Montezuma Valley Irrigation District on current surveys for the flannelmouth sucker, bluehead