Welcome to SWCD

The Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) was created by the State of Colorado 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.  It is one of four Conservation Districts in the state.  Read More About Us Here!

Roundtable Seats Up for Election

Have an interest in water? The Southwest Basins Roundtable is seeking persons interested in serving on the Roundtable. There are currently eight at-large positions up for election. Four at-large positions represent particular interests: agriculture, recreation, local domestic water providers, and industry. Applicants for these positions should submit a letter with their qualifications to represent a specific water interest.

There are also four at-large positions with no specific affiliation. Applicants for these positions should also submit a letter with their qualifications to Laura Spann at lauras@swwcd.org by Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Elections will be held at the October 14 meeting at the Durango Public Library at 3:00 pm, at which applicants will have an opportunity to address the Roundtable.

Refer to the website “Colorado Water Conservation Board – Basin Roundtables” for background on the roundtable process. Please contact Mike Preston, Roundtable Chair, at (970-565-7562) for specific questions.

Comment on the Second Draft of the Plan

The second draft of the Colorado Water Plan is now available online for review and comment. For a reader’s digest explanation of this second draft, take a look at the July 2015 Factsheet. The public comment period is open through September 1, so submit your thoughts on the Colorado Water Plan website.

What is the Colorado Water Plan?

In May 2013, Governor Hickenlooper issued an Executive Order directing the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to develop Colorado’s Water Plan. Based on eight years of dialogue among local water leaders around the state (members of the Basin Roundtables), the plan is being designed to address statewide concerns about growing demands for our water supply, while still upholding Colorado values. For background about the plan, download this Fact Sheet.

Colorado’s Water Plan: the Southwest Perspective

Southwest Colorado has a somewhat unique water situation, with the presence of two sovereign nations (the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe) and Colorado River interstate compact deliveries to New Mexico.

In cooperation with the Southwest Basins Roundtable, SWCD has produced a document of guiding principles to use in development of the state water plan: Southwest Colorado Statement of Importance. See also a factsheet on just the Southwest Colorado portion of the plan.

Click here to listen to an interview with Southwest Basins Roundtable Chair Mike Preston to get a local perspective on the state water plan. In 2014, SWCD Executive Director Bruce Whitehead published an op-ed in the Durango Herald inviting members of the community to participate actively in the local Roundtables and the statewide planning process because, as he puts it, “water is not only a life-giving resource, it is a way of life” in Colorado.

20th Annual Children’s Water Festival A Success!

More than 700 fifth graders attended this year’s Children’s Water Festival, an educational day sponsored by SWCD. The event–made possible by more than 70 volunteers–was held at Ft. Lewis College on May 6. Click here to see photos!

Did you miss the 2015 Annual Water Seminar?

Not to worry. Click here to see the films shown, download speaker presentations, and read news coverage of the event.

2015 Legislative Session

The 2015 Legislative Session ended on May 6. To review all of SWCD’s 2015 updates on on water-related legislation, click here.

SWCD Board Meetings

All meetings are open to the public. Regular Board of Director Meetings are in February, April, June, August, October, and December.  In addition to regular board meetings, the Board meets via teleconference every other week during the Colorado Legislative Year (mid January – mid May) to review water-related legislation. For the meeting schedule, click here.


Southwestern Water Conservation District actively supports water-related projects and programs throughout the District’s nine counties. Ongoing support is given to organizations whose work greatly impacts our water resources.  For information on our programs and funding opportunities, please click here.


Looking for information on local and state water resources?  Visit our Resource section for useful links.

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