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Paonia Project
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Project Data
Land Areas (1992)
Area Irrigated and Crop Value



Project # 551


Land Areas (1992)
Irrigable area:
Full Irrigation Service0 acres
Supplemental Service15,007 acres
Temporary Irrigation Service0 acres
Number of Irrigated Farms386
Residential, Commercial, Industrial Lands293 acres
Total Irrigable Lands15,300 acres


Population Served:
Farm Population Served998
Non-Farm Population Served2,710
Total Population Served3,708

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Area Irrigated and Crop Value
YearActual Area Irrigated (Acres)Crop Value (Dollars)

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Project Water Supply
Project Water Quality



Project Water Supply

Current Conditions


North Fork Gunnison River near Somerset, Colorado (USGS)

Streamflow Forecast Map

Spring and Summer (NRCS)

Snowpack Information

Mountain Snowpack Maps for Colorado River Basin

Drought Index

Palmer Drought Index Map

Annual Precipitation

Mean Annual16.10 in
Maximum - 198623.75 in
Minimum - 19898.48 in
Paonia, Colorado 1905-1998 


Mean Annual49.4 ?F
Daily Maximum - 07/06/1989105 ?F
Daily Minimum - 01/12/1963-31 ?F
Paonia, Colorado 1905-1998 
Growing Season160 days
Elevation of irrigable area5,400 - 6,800 ft


Muddy Creek
Drainage area at Paonia Dam246 mi2
Annual discharge at Paonia Dam 
Maximum - 1973153,202 acre-ft
Minimum - 197717,345 acre-ft
Average90,000 acre-ft

North Fork, Gunnison River

Drainage area at Somerset, Colorado521 mi2
Annual discharge 
Maximum - 1952474,700 acre-ft
Minimum - 1934136,500 acre-ft
Average312,000 acre-ft


Leroux Creek
Drainage area at Cedaredge, Colorado43 mi2
Annual discharge 
Maximum - 193855,600 acre-ft
Minimum - 193416,000 acre-ft
Average34,600 acre-ft

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Project Water Quality

North Fork Gunnison

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Facilities in Operation
Storage Dams1
Diversion Dams1
Canals34.7 mi

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Diversion Facilities
Fire Mountain Diversion
TypeTimber sheet, piling, rockfill
LocationOn the North Fork of Gunnsion River near Somerset, Colorado.
Year Completed1950
Height above streambed11 ft
Weir crest length187 ft
Total crest length187 ft
Weir crest elevation5,955.0 ft
Volume Concrete2,000 yd3
Headworks:Concrete, one 12 feet square radial gate.
Diversion capacity180 cfs

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Carriage Facilities
Fire Mountain Canal
LocationFrom the diversion dam on the North Fork of the Gunnison River near Somerset, Colorado, generally southeast to a point about 4 miles northwest of Hotchkiss, Colorado.
Construction periodPrivately constructed. Enlarged by Reclamation in 1949-1953 and 1959-1962.
Length34.7 mi
Diversion capacity200 cfs
Typical section, clay lined: 
Bottom width10 ft
Side slopes1.5:1
Water depth4 ft
Lining thickness4 in
Typical section, concrete lined 
Bottom width4 ft
Side slopes1.5:1
Water depth3.85 ft
Lining thickness4 in

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Last updated: May 11, 2011