|Trinidad Reservoir 9/24/99 63,609 Acre Feet. Picture courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District
Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District (PRWCD) was created pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 37, Article 45,
paragraph 101, December 2, 1960. The purpose for the formation of the District was to provide a legal entity capable of contracting
with the United States for repayment of the irrigation, municipal and industrial component assigned to the Trinidad Project and to
provide a management entity to oversee the Project.
Other responsibilities include: surveying existing water resources and basin rivers, taking actions necessary to "secure and insure an
adequate supply of water - present and future", constructing water reservoirs, entering into contracts with other water agencies,
(such as the Bureau of Reclamation), organizing special assessment districts, providing for instream flows for fisheries and other
legal responsibilities needed by the District to fulfill it's purposes.
On February 10, 1967, the District executed a repayment contract with the United States whereby it assumed a debt of
$6,465,600.00, which is to be repaid over a 70 year period.
The main feature of the Trinidad Project is Trinidad Dam, located several miles west of the City of Trinidad, on the Purgatoire River in
Las Animas County, Colorado. The dam, which was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers, is of the earth fill type of
construction - having a height of 208 feet above the stream bed, and crest elevation of 6,298 feet above mean sea level.
The reservoir created by the dam has a total capacity of 125,9667 acre feet, which is allocated to the following uses:
Flood Control: 51,000 Acre Feet
Irrigation & M & I: 20,000 Acre Feet
Permanent Recreation & Fishery: 15,967 Acre Feet
Joint Use & Sediment Pool: 39,000 Acre Feet
The irrigation and Joint Use Pools are utilized to provide storage for the irrigation by ten project ditches, of up to 19,499 acres in the
project area, and for municipal use by the City of Trinidad. Each of the participating ditches have repayment contracts with the
District whereby annual payments are made based upon available water during the year.
The Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation operates Trinidad State Park at the Reservoir site and provides a wide array
of recreational opportunities.
PRWCD - Home
The Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District Board of Directors is appointed by the Chief Judge for the 3rd Judicial District.
They are appointed for varying terms, each director representing a different reach of the project. Directors currently serving on
the Board are:
Ralph Gagliardi, President David Philpot, Vice President
Allen Nicol, Treasurer Frank Milinazzo, Director
Tony Paradisa, Director Tom Verquer, Director
Joseph DeGarbo, Director
Abel Benavidez, Director
Elizabeth Aragon, Director
Vacant, General Manager
Thelma Lujan, Secretary & District Water Coordinator
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