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FAll Newsletter 2021

Sonja Chavez, General Manager

Putting Your Money to Work!

If you happened to hear any of our recent public updates, you’d know that we are very close to completing our 2021 Upper Gunnison River Restoration & Irrigation Infrastructure Improvement Project.  It is a pretty impressive sight and I’m happy to report that the project has proceeded without any hiccupsAs a reminder to all, this multi-beneficial water resource improvement project eliminated the gravel channel push-up dam in the Gunnison River associated with the John B. Outcalt No. 2 agricultural irrigation diversion and instead uses the upstream existing Gunnison Tomichi Valley Ditch wing inlet, modernizes individual and shared irrigation infrastructure, creates a river return structure when water is not needed, when river flows are high, or when the kokanee salmon run is occurring, supports important sage grouse habitat, improves the floodplain and fishery, and creates a more naturally functioning and appearing hydrologic system.


This project is but one example of the importance of our Upper Gunnison District Grant Program and outcomes from our stream and watershed management planning processes.  It also highlights the importance of partnerships with our water right holders and water users, non-governmental entities like Trout Unlimited, and governmental partners like the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado River District, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  As part of our mission, the Upper Gunnison District is continually analyzing and pursuing opportunities to partner with others and leverage your community taxpayer dollars to help protect and improve your Upper Gunnison Basin water resources.  Since 2009, the District has invested $1.6M dollars into water resource improvement projects through our Grant Program and leveraged these dollars 6:1 with $9.6M of outside funding!


This fall newsletter edition focuses on our Upper Gunnison District Grant Program. We want you to learn more about the application process, read all about the positive outcomes that have come from funded projects and reach out to us with your project ideas.  If you don’t have a project, well, we hope you feel as good as we do about what we’ve been able to accomplish. 


Finally, I’d like to remind our District constituents that we also have a simple Mini-Grant Program that provides up to $300 annually per applicant to support projects designed to expand awareness of water-related issues in the Upper Gunnison Valley.  This includes private citizens, school or university faculty, home schools, preschools, watershed groups, art centers, or other resource organizations that have a message to share about the value of our water. RE1J Watershed School District and Western Colorado University students may also apply. Be sure to read further or visit our grant program webpage at:


Grant programming is but one of the many ways the Upper Gunnison River District helps to improve and protect our watershed!  If you have a project idea(s) you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (970)641-6065.  Happy Fall to all our Upper Gunnison Basin Water Heroes!

Lawrence and Sun Ditch - before

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