Southwest Basin Roundtable Tour

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education’s (CFWE) annual tour was successfully conducted June 9-11th in our own southwestern Dolores/San Juan river basin. Approximately 85 people participated in the two and a half day event and thankfully the weather was beautiful all days. Optional events on the 9th included rafting and Mesa Verde National Park. The Southwestern Water Conservation District hosted a reception at the railroad museum in Durango that evening. With Durango as ‘home base,’ day one started with the loading of two tour buses that proceeded west to the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, followed by McPhee Reservoir, and lunch at the Dolores town park, sponsored by the Dolores Water Conservancy District. While traveling and at the various site stops, knowledgeable presentations were made along the way. A visit to the Ute Farm and Ranch in Towaoc was the next stop, followed by an exquisite dinner at Blue Lake Ranch in Hesperus. Day two started early with breakfast at Santa Rita Park in Durango and presentations by Animas River Stakeholders Group members in regard to their process and accomplishments. Senator Bruce Whitehead was on hand to discuss Durango’s instream flow water right for a whitewater park, as was the Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director. The group then departed for a tour of Lake Nighthorse and then headed east to Pagosa Springs for a tour of the geothermal plant and lunch at Town Park—hosted by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and the San Juan Water Conservancy District. The day ended at the San Juan Chama Project—a trans-mountain diversion that takes water from the San Juan River in Colorado to the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico. The tour was a fabulous experience that everyone seemed to enjoy, including coming away with a wealth of information. Thank you CFWE for a job well done!