UVWUA maintains all of the canals and laterals up to and including the headgate. The laterals carry the irrigation water to each headgate. At the headgate the water enters private ditches and facilities operated by the landowners.

UVWUA is the Bureau of Reclamation’s operating agent for irrigation water.



Where is my UVWUA stock certificate?

UVWUA does not issue stocks or certificates to the landowner.

Can I sell my water shares to another owner or on the stock market?

No, your UVWUA water shares are allocated to the land.  UVWUA water shares are not marketable on the stock market.

Don’t we get all our irrigation water from Blue Mesa?

No.  A long-recognized need of the Uncompahgre Project was upstream storage of the spring runoff.  Therefore, Taylor Park Dam was constructed in 1935-1937. Since the completion of Blue Mesa Dam in 1965, storage in its reservoir has been coordinated with that of Taylor Park so as to optimize fish and wildlife and recreation benefits.  UVWUA also utilizes Ridgway Reservoir on the Uncompahgre River for water storage.

How much is one-acre foot of water?

One-acre foot of water is the volume of water necessary to cover one acre of surface area to a depth of one foot or 325,851 gallons.

How cold is the irrigation water?


Is the irrigation water too cold for fish?


Can I swim or float in the canals/laterals?

No, canals/laterals are on private property.  The canals are dangerous with swift currents, steep banks and strong undertows while they are running full.  The steep banks are equally hazardous in the winter.  They are not recreation facilities and children should be taught to stay away from them.

How do I turn on my headgate?

You don’t!  Call your ditchrider.