photo of a ditch header
photo of a ditch header
photo of a ditch header
photo of a ditch header

Durango Co | Florida Ditch Company


The Florida Farmers Ditch Company was formed in 1889, and the Florida Canal Company in 1893, in order to provide adjudicated irrigation water to agricultural water users on the Florida Mesa near Durango, Colorado. The Florida Englargement Canal Company and the Florida Co-Operative Ditch Company were formed in 1908 and 19910 respectively, which expanded delivery of agricultural water to farmers on the Florida Mesa.

Service Area

Collectively, the Florida Mesa Ditch Companies provide water to 329 shareholders serving 18,700 acres of irrigated Agriculture. The Florida Farmers is decreed for 45 cfs, Florida Canal for 40 cfs, Florida Canal Enlargement is decreed for 40 cfs, and the Florida Co-operative is decreed for 30 cfs for a total decreed rate of flow of 155 cfs for irrigation purposes. In addition, the Florida Mesa canal companies provide water to Pastorius Reservoir, which is a Colorado State Wildlife Area. On average the Florida Mesa Canal Companies deliver 24, 125 acre-feet of water per year. The Florida Canal Companies operate 86.5 miles of canals, ditches and laterals. The Florida Mesa Canal Companies' budgets are supplemented by the Florida Water Conservancy District.

The Florida Project

In the 1930's, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation conducted feasibility studies for construction of the Florida Project, and Lemon Reservoir was constructed in 1963 which provides supplemental irrigation water for 19,450 acres of agricultural land. Lemon Reservoir is approximately 0.5 miles wide and 3 miles long with a surface area of 622 acres, and a total capacity of the reservoir is 40,146 acre feet. In additiona to the construction of Lemon Dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation work included rebuilding the Florida Farmers Diversion Dam, enlarging 3.9 miles of the Florida Canal, and building a new lateral system to serve about 3,360 acres of land in the southeast portion of the Florida Mesa. Including the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, there are 973 project users which during an average year are delivered approximately 24,360 acre feet of water to users on the Florida Mesa. This Project water is delivered through the conveyance system owned and operated by the Florida Mesa Canal Companies.


Latest News

Notice regarding Postcard advertising Class C Shares for Sale

If you received a postcard advertising Class C Certificates for sale, please be advised of the following information:


  1. The postcard is a solicitation for a private sale and is not from either the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company (FCDC) or the Florida Water Conservancy District.
  2. FCDC Class C shares are subject to the rules and regulations of the FCDC.
  3. FCDC shares of stock include the delivery of direct flow water rights only, and do not include storage water from the Florida Water Conservancy District.
  4. To be eligible for share ownership in the FCDC, the shareholder must own sufficient land within the decreed lands of FCDC that can be irrigated with water represented by those shares without waste. The water must be deliverable through the FCDC network in order to be used by the prospective buyer.  This means that, if you are considering purchasing this water, you must have a conveyance system from an existing head gate off the FCDC canal system.
  5. FCDC will only transfer share certificates if the original water certificate is presented to the ditch company and signed by the owner of record, and the appropriate transfer fees are paid. In the event that the share certificate is lost, the shareholder may follow FCDC’s procedures for issuance of a duplicate stock certificate and pay the appropriate fees.
  6. Water will only be delivered if all assessments are paid in full, and the conveyance system is in working order.
  7. The delivery of water will occur only when the water rights represented thereby are in priority.  C water shares have priority F-68.  A purchaser should consider when the water will be available during the irrigation season. In dry years, water represented by C shares may be available on a limited basis either because it is only available for a few days, at a curtailed rate, or both.
  8. If you purchase C shares, you must follow the ditch company rules with regard to moving the delivery point of the water.  Currently the delivery point for the water listed for sale is near the intersection of C.R. 302 and Heart Lane.  FCDC prohibits the creation of new headgates, so water must be delivered to an existing headgate.  Applications to move water must be put in writing to the FCDC, which application will be considered by the board of directors at its next meeting.  The board will consider among other things:  the ability of the proposed headgate and ditch to handle the diversion of additional water, and the potential injury at the current point of diversion due to the water being removed from delivery at that location. 
  9. When the movement of water to a different headgate or ditch affects other water users on a lateral, all users so affected must authorize the move, and submit written acknowledgement to the Ditch Company, or the applicant must submit a court order authorizing the move.
  10. If you are considering purchasing this water, you should consult your own attorney and/or water engineer prior to determine the feasibility of utilizing this water on your property.
  11. The FCDC ditch secretary cannot give you legal advice.  Please do not call the FCDC number for advice.