Near Cortez in Montezuma County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Flood irrigation was replaced by gated pipe, which was replaced by side roll and center pivot sprinklers.
On the smaller end of the spectrum, drip irrigation is replacing lawn sprinklers as water becomes more valuable with increasing population and development.
These efficiencies have allowed for the expansion of irrigated agriculture by 36,000 acres in Montezuma and Dolores Counties and provided a 50-year domestic supply for local communities.
Ute Mountain Ute Farm and Ranch Enterprise manages 7,700 irrigated acres planted in non-GMO corn, alfalfa, wheat and other crops, in addition to 700 head of cattle.
Located on tribal land at the toe of Sleeping Ute Mountain, the enterprise has produced high crop yields with less water using equipment like center pivot sprinklers.
To handle the scale, some center pivots extend more
Top left: A massive underground tunnel measuring one mile long made water delivery possible from McPhee Reservoir.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Native Americans • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 37° 20.878′ 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 the McElmo Creek Flume overlook. 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. Greening the Valley (here, next to this marker); Water is Our Story (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 July 24, 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.