Welcome to the San Juan Water Conservancy District Website
This website has been given a major facelift. We are proud of the result. Your comments and input concerning this website would be most appreciated.
Last summer, San Juan Water Conservancy District (“SJWCD”) had a series of meetings with Pagosa Area Water & Sanitation District (“PAWSD”) to re-establish a working relationship that had run into problems following rulings in the case brought by Trout Unlimited. Based on those meetings, SJWCD has set about working on its own to resurrect the Dry Gulch Project. PAWSD was firm in letting us know they were no longer interested in promoting this project as a future source of water, and would be finalizing their loan with the State of Colorado to allow them to start paying principal and interest later in 2013. Because the $1 Million grant SJWCD received to fund a share of the land purchase for Dry Gulch converts to a loan should Dry Gulch not be built, it is important to resurrect the Dry Gulch Project, protect the water rights SJWCD has acquired for public purposes, and assist in finding ways to help PAWSD pay down its debt.
After the joint meetings, the SJWCD board met to discuss Dry Gulch. The board voted unanimously to seek opportunities, which will allow the project to go forward. The board discussions indicate new strategies are warranted.
- The strategy going forward will minimize any financial burdens on local taxpayers – funding for additional land for the pool basin, construction and maintenance/operation needs to be forthcoming from new sources.
- The size of the project now is based on the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, which found 11,000 acre feet of water rather than 35,000 acre feet not speculative, however, SJWCD is not committed to a pool basin of any particular size.
- SJWCD is seeking alternative means to fill this reservoir to avoid pumping costs. Right now, SJWCD intends to fill Dry Gulch to 6,300 acre feet using the Park Ditch. Above that line, the intent is to siphon additional water out of Park Ditch, and return water to Park Ditch using a siphoning system.
- This is no longer a domestic drinking water project – consumptive in nature. The strategy going forward is to build-in non-consumptive uses, such as recreation, fishing, wildlife habitat, etc.