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Project Plan Fact Sheet
The project consists of both structural and nonstructural components. The structural components consist of:
  • An off-stream reservoir at Ridges Basin, southwest of Durango, Colorado, to store about 120,000 acre-feet (total capacity) of water pumped from the Animas River.
  • A 280 cubic-feet per second capacity pumping plant located south of the center of Durango on the west side of the Animas River across from the downstream end of Durango's Santa Rita Park.
  • A buried pipeline that will carry project water from the pumping plant to Lake Nighthorse.
  • A buried pipeline to carry water from the Farmington, New Mexico area to the Shiprock, New Mexico area to benefit the Navajo Nation.

Water stored in Lake Nighthorse will be released as necessary back to the Animas River for municipal and industrial users within Colorado and New Mexico. Water could also be pumped from the reservoir and conveyed to rural areas west of Durango, however, necessary facilities to pump and convey the water will have to be provided by others. The reservoir will also include an active pool of approximately 30,000 acre-feet for recreational, fishery, and water quality purposes. Recreation facilities to support public use of the reservoir are expected to also be provided by others.

The nonstructural components of the project are theTribal Resources Funds for use by the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes, respectively, for protection, acquisition, enhancement, or development of natural resources for the benefit of the Tribes and their members. The use of the funds shall be governed by an approved economic development plan provided by each Tribe.

Project Water Supply1

Southwestern Colorado will receive 81,760 acre-feet of project municipal and industrial water during an average year:

  Supply (acre-feet) Depletion(acre-feet)
Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
State of Colorado

New Mexico
Northwestern New Mexico will receive 27,040 acre-feet of project municipal and industrial water during an average year:

  Supply (acre-feet) Depletion(acre-feet)
Navajo Nation
San Juan Water Commission
La Plata Conservancy District

1Difference between total depletion shown and average annual 57,000 acre-foot depletion  allowed is allowance for evaporation that will occur at Lake Nighthorse

Project Data

Project Features
Ridges Basin Dam
   Height above streambed
217 feet
   Crest Length
1,670 feet
Lake Nighthorse
   Capacity - active storage
90,000 acre-feet
   Capacity - inactive and dead storage
30,000 acre-feet
120,000 acre-feet
   Water surface area at top of active capacity
1,490 acres
Durango Pumping Plant
   Maximum lift
511 feet
280 cubic feet per second
Ridges Basin Inlet Conduit
2.1 miles
280 cubic feet per second
Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline  
28.9 miles
   Initial Capacity
12.6 cubic feet per second

Call Reclamation's toll free number for the latest construction information by phone: 866-720-0918




































Last updated: February 4, 2008