About WIP


In August of 1994, the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD), in cooperation with several water agencies and entities in southwestern Colorado, pooled their resources and created the Water Information Program (WIP). Each participating entity has its own set of priorities and issues and the WIP provides an unbiased forum for communicating information. Participating entities contributes to the WIP based on their unique resources ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. In turn, the SWCD contributes a dollar-for-dollar match. In addition, the SWCD provides the equipment and office space for the WIP.

Current Participating Entities
Current WIP participating entities (see Participating Entities tab for more information on each) include the:

v Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
v Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
v Dolores Water Conservancy District
v Empire Electric Association
v Florida Water Conservancy District
v Harris Water Engineering
v High Desert Conservation District
v Lake Durango Water Authority
v La Plata Archuleta Water District
v La Plata Electric Association
v La Plata Water Conservancy District
v La Plata West Water Authority
v Mancos Conservation District
v Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company
v Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District
v Pine River Irrigation District
v San Juan Water Conservancy District
v SGM, Inc - Bikis Water Consultants
v Southwestern Water Conservation District
v The Nature Conservancy
v Town of Silverton
v Town of Telluride
v Trout Unlimited Five Rivers Chapter
For more information and/or to become a participating entity, please contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302, visit their website (www.waterinfo.org), write or stop by their office at 841 East 2nd Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Programs and Services

Some of the programs and services that the WIP provides for the nine-county Dolores/San Juan River Basin include:
  • Annual Children’s Water Festival: 20th annual in 2015; conducted the first Wednesday in May each year and now reaches approximately 750 fifth grade students; nearly 100 volunteers make this fun event such an annual success;
  • Annual Water 101 Seminar: 8th annual in 2015; we rotate the location throughout the basin; we have been fortunate enough to have Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs as our keynote speaker since we started offering this program; this workshop qualifies for eight continuing education credits (CEC) for lawyers and realtors, CEC's for teachers, and .6 training units for water utility personnel;
  • Forests-to-Faucets Teacher Training Workshop: 4th annual in 2015; this is an intensive two day, in the field training that qualifies for one continuing education credit for teachers through Adams State College, as well as ten contact hours;
  • Water in the West Art Show: 4th  annual in 2015; the show is accompanied with speakers and panel discussions related to water; in previous years there were also book signings and a number of film showings;
  • Website (www.waterinfo.org): This is a very successful website that received approximately 90,000 hits per year; in addition to current events and news, there is a plethora of useful water-related information;
  • Quarterly Newsletters: The newsletter (see past issues under News Archives tab) has a mailing of over 750 and has become quite popular and well-received, to include a cartoon series that began in 2014;
  • Brochures: On a wide variety of water-related topics (e.g., rainwater harvesting, water conservation, etc.);
  • Lending Library: Now with more than 250 books and movies available for the public and water professionals to checkout;
  • Water Display: Used at numerous events throughout the Basin and year (e.g., SWCD Annual Seminar, local libraries, etc.); and
  • Speaker Series: Talks provided throughout the Basin and year through a variety of local venues (e.g., Rotary, Life-Long Learning Series, etc.).



Each participating entity contributes to the Program based on their unique resources. In turn, the SWCD contributes a dollar-for-dollar match. In addition, each contributing partner occupies a seat on the WIP Steering Committee. The Steering Committee meets approximately three time per year to provide program oversight and direction. For more information on the Water Information Program contact:

Ed Tolen, WIP Steering Committee Chair
Bruce Whitehead, Southwestern Water Conservation District Executive Director
Laura Spann, Southwestern Water Conservation District Office Manager

841 East Second Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
(970) 247-1302