Dolores River

Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan

Final  (6/17/13)  “319 Watershed Plan”  which is now called the  “Dolores River -  Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan” and 3 Appendices

Dolores River - Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3

The Dolores River – Nonpoint Source Pollution Plan (formerly known as the “319 Watershed Plan) is a project of the Dolores River Dialogue – Steering Committee. Nonpoint Source Pollution can be derived  from many diffuse sources, and is often driven by rainfall and snowmelt. As runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants before finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even underground sources of drinking water. Nothing in this plan requires any person, landowner or entity to take an action. The purpose is to assess nonpoint source pollution in a watershed and develop collaborative ideas for addressing these issues. The completion and acceptance of a watershed plan opens the door for potential funding for projects.  

This plan was developed within the framework of the DRD principles and purpose statement. The plan was funded by a grant from the State of Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment and other DRD partners. The process of developing this watershed plan started when the grant was awarded to the DRD in 2008. However, because of other things the DRD was engaged in and especially the Lower Dolores Plan Working Group (LDPWG), several extensions were granted. In 2012 and 2013, the DRD-Steering Committee took on the task of completing the plan. The plan was written by consultants Ann Oliver and Jeff Kane with other writers contributing including Gail Binkly, professional writer, Matt Clark, Trout Unlimited, Ken Curtis and Don Schwindt, Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD), Marsha Porter-Norton,  facilitator for the Dolores River Dialogue, and Chester Anderson.

The methods for developing the plan included:

    • researching and compiling existing information on water quality issues;  
    • identifying potential sources of non-point pollution in the Lower Dolores River Watershed;
    • reviewing and compiling literature and stakeholder information (both from individuals and other groups) in regards to current water quality issues;
    • gathering additional information from interviews and  meetings with those involved in the Dolores River Dialogue and its Steering Committee and the Lower Dolores Plan Working Group and its Legislative Subcommittee (including reading meeting minutes);
    • developing and writing the document;
    • developing associated appendices (3) in order to tell a broader story(ies) of the watershed, water use, conservation and the history of the DRD. Appendix 1 is Background and History of the DRD; Appendix 2 is the “History of Dolores River Water Use, the Dolores Project, the Rise of Environmental Consciousness Nationally and Locally, and Stakeholder Collaboration"; and
    • promoting Conservation of Lower Dolores River Natural Resources.

Appendix 3 is “A Beginning Compilation of Stakeholder Perspectives on the History of  Dolores River Diversions, Agriculture, and Recreational Uses of the Dolores River” (please note, the DRD-SC sees Appendix 3 as a beginning and recognizes that more stories need to be told). The consultant then had the DRD-Steering Committee and its respective members review the document six times, discuss it at length, and eventually finalize it. NEXT STEP: Educate the community about the plan. IN THE FUTURE: Determine which ideas listed might have support for implementation after discussion and dialogue with the Dolores River Dialogue-Steering Committee and partners.  

If you have questions,  please email the DRD Facilitator, Marsha Porter-Norton at or call 970-759-3110.