Resource Management

Water Entities

Water Home Your Watersheds Caring for Water Make a Difference

It takes all of us...

In addition to the US Forest Service making decisions on how to manage the land and water on National Forests, there are many other agencies and groups involved in a variety of ways in managing water on private, state and other lands in southwest Colorado. Following is a list of many of these entities with brief descriptions of what they do and links to their websites for more information.


Water Managers in SW Colorado

Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR) is within the Department of Natural Resources and oversees the development of water within Colorado through the administration of water rights, and other permits.  Their databases of streamflows, lake levels, water rights, diversion records, calls, etc. can be accessed through an interactive mapviewer at:

There are a number of other Colorado State Agencies that are involved in water and aquatic species management including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environmental Quality Water Quality Control Division and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. To see drinking water source water protection plans for your community go to:

Corp of Engineers authorizes any discharge of dredged or fill material into all waters of the United States, including wetlands (Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) and has a Durango Office at 1970 E 3rd Ave, Ste 109, Durango, CO 81301 (970) 259-1682. For more information:

Southern Ute Tribe manages lands located in the Pine, Piedra, and San Juan River Watersheds. For more information:

Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) was created by the Colorado General Assembly in 1941 to protect, conserve, use and develop the water resources of the Southwestern basin for the welfare of the District, and to safeguard for Colorado all waters of the basin to which the state is entitled.

US EPA sets the water quality standards for the nation and is responsible for cleanup of superfund sites including Bonita Peaks Mining District as well as the Gold King Mine Release:  For information about your drinking water, go to EPA's interactive map here:

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe manages lands located in the Mancos Watershed in Southwestern Colorado. For more information:


Get to know your streams, wetlands, watersheds!

Center for the Snow and Avalanche Studies host and conduct interdisciplinary research and sustain integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant communities and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.

FEMA provides the flood hazard data to support the National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) is a geospatial database that contains current effective flood hazard data. The simplest way for you to access the flood hazard data, including the NFHL, is through FEMAs Map Service Center (MSC)

Natural Resource and Conservation Service monitors snowpack across the western US, among their other duties, and provides the data on an interactive website:

San Juan Basin Watershed Association is established to serve the 6 conservation districts, as well as other agencies and entities in the watershed with common natural resource concerns.

US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the principal US Federal agency tasked with providing information to the public on the status and trends of our Nation's wetlands.  The Wetlands Mapper delivers an easy-to-use map-like view of America’s wetland resources:

USGS provides real-time gauging of stream flows on a number of streams in Southwestern Colorado: USGS also has an online water school where you can learn more:\


The bigger picture on Water

The Colorado Water Conservation Board represents each major water basin, Denver and other state agencies in a joint effort to use water wisely and protect water for future generations. Read about Colorado’s Water Plan here:

The State of Colorado is taking a hard look at climate change and how it is affecting the waters of the state. Read more about Colorado’s Climate Change Assessment at:

Seven State Colorado River Drought Contingency Planning Group is responsible for updating the interstate agreements for use of Colorado River water to proactively address shortages and drought emergencies. Read about the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan here: