Near Cortez in Montezuma County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Greening the Valley
An accurate grade had to be surveyed first to assure adequate flow, and then the route was determined based on arable land and ownership. At first, water was routed to fields through ditch systems owned and operated by private irrigation companies.
In 1904 the county established Montezuma Valley Irrigation District to replace the private companies, who had struggled to manage water levels in the individual systems and collect on delinquent water bills.
In 1920 Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company replaced the District and issued shares to customers that could be sold after a period of non-payment. The company operates a 108-mile system of upgraded canals and ditches today.
Topography presented a significant challenge for the early irrigation system builders. Before the invention of steel and concrete culverts and the ability to compact fill material around them,
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 37° 20.879′ N, 108° 30.176′ W. Marker is near Cortez, Colorado, in Montezuma County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 160 ¼ mile west of Road 30.1, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located on a deck overlooking the McElmo Creek Flume. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cortez CO 81321, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Water is Our Story (here, next to this marker); Water Technology (here, next to this marker); Preserving the McElmo Creek Flume (within shouting distance of this marker); Four Corners (approx. 3.3 miles away); Cortez (approx. 3.3 miles away); Southwest Survival (approx. 3.3 miles away); Mesa Verde Country (approx. 3.3 miles away); Welcome to the San Juan Skyway (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cortez.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 23, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 23, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.