Colorado River Water Conservation District

Our Mission:

To lead in the protection, conservation, use, and development of the water resources of the Colorado River basin for the welfare of the District, and to safeguard for Colorado all waters of the Colorado River to which the state is entitled.

Who we are & what we do

The Colorado River Water Conservation District (River District) is a public water policy agency chartered by the Colorado General Assembly in 1937 to be “the appropriate agency for the conservation, use and development of the water resources of the Colorado River and its principal tributaries in Colorado.”  We are the principal water policy and planning agency for the Colorado River Basin within the State of Colorado and provide legal, technical, and political representation regarding Colorado River issues for our constituents.

Our district is comprised of 15 West Slope counties in which a majority of the Colorado River Basin in the State of Colorado exists. These counties are:

  • Moffat
  • Routt
  • Grand
  • Summit
  • Eagle
  • Pitkin
  • Gunnison
  • Delta
  • Mesa
  • Garfield
  • Rio Blanco
  • Ouray
  • and portions of Montrose, Saguache and Hinsdale

The River District covers approximately 29,000 square miles, roughly 28% of the land area of Colorado. The southernmost part of the Colorado River basin in Colorado that encompasses the San Juan River and its tributaries and the upper reaches of the Dolores River are not included within the Colorado River District.

The River  District is governed by a Board of Directors. Each of the 15 counties appoints a representative. All policies, resolutions, budget actions and other major activities of the River District are approved by the Board.

Contact Colorado River Water Conservation District

Dan Birch
Deputy General Manager
201 Centennial
Suite 200
Glenwood Springs, Colorado  81601
Phone: (970) 945-8522
Fax: (970) 945-8799


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Delta County, Colorado
  • Eagle County, Colorado
  • Garfield County, Colorado
  • Grand County, Colorado
  • Gunnison County, Colorado
  • Hinsdale County, Colorado
  • Mesa County, Colorado
  • Moffat County, Colorado
  • Montrose County, Colorado
  • Ouray County, Colorado
  • Pitkin County, Colorado
  • Rio Blanco County, Colorado
  • Routt County, Colorado
  • Saguache County, Colorado
  • Summit County, Colorado

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator
Related Success Stories for Colorado River Water Conservation District

Pathfinder Project
The Pathfinder Project is a pilot program that through its involvement with an array of stakeholders works to define a process to provide for water management on National Forest lands in Colorado.

Pathfinder Project on the Colorado “GMUG” National Forests
Pathfinders developed 27 strategies to achieve instream flows without imposing federal restrictions on water diversions in 3 Colorado National Forests.