Kiowa Conservation District
303-621-2070 ext. 101
Helping People Help The Land in Elbert County Colorado
History of the Kiowa Creek Watershed (Flood Control Dams)
In 1935, Congress passed Public Law 46 (PL-46) to protect land from flood damages. The Kiowa Creek Watershed project was the pilot project in Colorado, and one of the first in the nation. The 67 dams built with funds from this bill in the Kiowa Conservation District are credited for saving much of the agricultural land during the devastating 1965 flood.
The Watershed Project was developed for three general purposes:
1) to prevent damage from erosion, floodwater, and sediment;
2) to further the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water; and
3) to further the conservation and proper utilization of land.
Local sponsorship by the Kiowa Conservation District was agreed upon by a resolution of the Board of Supervisors in 1953. Authorization was provided that work would take place during the years 1954 through 1961. All of the dams within this project have a recorded easement which is held by the Kiowa Conservation District.
What are today's concerns for the Kiowa Creek Watershed Project?
As the original sponsors of the project, the Kiowa Conservation District is responsible for the Operation and Maintenance of 65 dams located within the Kiowa Creek Watershed Project area.
The watershed dams are anywhere between 47 and 54 years old. The lifespan of these structures is 50 years. Due to the aging of the dams the maintenance that is required increases each year.
One of the top concerns for the district is to educate the public about these dams so everyone is aware of their existence and the service they provide to all the landowners within the watershed and down stream.
What needs to be done
With the Kiowa Conservation District as the sole sponsor responsible for the Operation and Maintenance of these 65 structures, how is the needed work to be done?
The District is a non-taxing special district, there is no mill levy in place. Therefore all funds to complete the necessary work on these dams comes from donations only. Up until now, the District has been able to use these donations to do a little work at a time. The amount of donations received from landowners within and below the Kiowa Watershed Project area averages $3,000 per year. These dams are inspected on a rotating basis which works out to be every five years. If you would like to make a donation to assist with the operation and maintenance of these watershed flood control dams, please send donations to: Kiowa Conservation District, PO Box 688, Franktown, CO. 80116
Things to remember
(Doís and Don'ts)
To find out if a dam located on your property is indeed one of the 65 Watershed Flood Control Dams, please contact the Kiowa Conservation District to confirm. There are a few rules that a landowner needs to be aware of if they do have a Watershed Dam on their property or if there is one of these dams in your neighborhood.
® Contact the district if you have one of these dams on your property.
® Report any noticeable damage to any of these dams.
® No alterations of any kind either taking from, or adding to the dam can be made without prior permission from the Kiowa Conservation District.
® No motor vehicles allowed on any part of the dam.
® No grazing of any livestock on the dam and spillway.
® For proper operation, no trash and/or debris such as branches, plants, etc. shall obstruct water flow.
The Kiowa Conservation District holds recorded easements on all of the dams located within the Watershed Project Area. Recorded easements allow the Kiowa Conservation District access to the dams for inspections and any operation and maintenance repairs that may be needed.