Dolores Water Conservancy District’s 50th Anniversary

The Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) was formed November 20, 1961. Therefore, they celebrated their 50th anniversary this Fall. In addition, it was the 25th anniversary of water deliveries to farms and towns from McPhee Reservoir. The reservoir site was seen as so ideal that President Teddy Roosevelt chose it for the dam in 1906 during a hunting trip in the area. The Dolores Water Conservancy District was formed to try to get the dam built,” said Mike Preston, general manager of the DWCD. The project was authorized in 1968 and construction began in 1977. The McPhee Dam project cost an estimated $403 million, brought thousands of people into the small town of Dolores, and changed the landscape forever. When the dam was finished in 1984, it took two years before the reservoir was full and water could be delivered to farms and towns. The project doubled the amount of irrigated acreage in the area and gives the towns in the area a 100-year supply of water.