Platoro Dam and Reservoir

Platoro Dam Aerial


  • Purpose: Flood control, irrigation water supply, recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement.
  • Owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation.
  • Operated and maintained by the Conejos Water Conservancy District (CWCD).
  • The Corps has exclusive authority over the project for flood control purposes and is responsible for directing the CWCD in the operation of the dam for flood control purposes, pursuant to Section 7 of the Flood Act of 1944. Releases made in anticipation of flood conditions are coordinated with CWCD and the Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) to avoid interference with irrigation operations to meet Rio Grande Compact delivery obligations.
  • Responsibility for operation and maintenance of all facilities and regulation of the joint use space (conservation and flood control) below elevation 10,027.57 feet was transferred from the USBR to CWCD in June 1991. The Corps monitors the joint use space to assure that Platoro Reservoir is being operated in accordance with the Flood Control Storage Reservation Diagram criteria.


  • Flood control regulation begins when the forecasted snowmelt runoff at the Conejos River at Mogote gage, applied to the parameter curves (flood control storage reservation diagram), indicates a flood control reservation greater than the unfilled capacity of the reservoir. The reservoir is then pre-evacuated to provide the necessary flood space.
  • Reclamation is responsible for operation of the project above elevation 10,034 (spillway crest elevation).


  • General plan for operation is to control flows to 2,500 cfs at the Conejos River at Mogote gage and 1,600 cfs Conejos River at Los Sauces gage.
  • Rates of release when increasing in stage are generally held to 50 cfs per half-hour. The limitation on the increase in stage at the downstream gage is based on public safety.

**** All data are provisional and subject to revision as final data are collected and analyzed. ****

Additional Information

Please contact the Operations Group via e-mail at for additional information.
Last Updated: 1/29/18