Process for Joining the District's Augmentation Program 

If the Colorado Division of Water Resources (DWR) has informed you that you need to augment your well or other structure: 

  • Call the District (719-589-2230) to discuss augmentation needs. Staff will determine the amount of water needed to replace your depletions in accordance with applicable laws, ordinances, and water rights decrees. 
  • District staff will review the augmentation needs with DWR staff, as needed. 
  • District staff will prepare an Augmentation Contract and Certificate (certificate).
  • The participant will review the certificate, sign with a notary, and pay the applicable fees. 
  • The District Manager and a District Board Member will review and sign the certificate.
  • The certificate will be submitted to DWR for final review and approval by the Division Engineer. The Division Engineer is a signatory to all certificates. 
  • When the certificate is submitted to DWR, the participant will concurrently submit a well permit application. A new well permit will be issued for the structure to show it is permitted in accordance with the District’s augmentation program decrees. 
  • After the certificate has been signed by all parties and the well permit has been issued, the documents will be mailed to the participant. ​

San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District

District 2020 Fee Structure 

The costs associated with joining the District's Augmentation Program are approved by the District's Board as part of the annual budget process. The 2020 Fee Structure is below: 

Background - Augmentation Program

In 1972, the State Engineer with the Colorado Division of Water Resources issued rules and regulations requiring non-irrigation wells in the Rio Grande Basin be augmented, meaning the water that is consumed by the well is replaced to the hydrologic system impacted by the well pumping. This requirement was enacted because Basin is over appropriated, which means there is a greater demand for water than there is water available. New wells cause depletions to the Rio Grande and Closed Basin, which are injurious to existing water users. As such, the District releases water to physically replace the well depletions and mitigate impacts to other water users.

The District’s augmentation program includes both transmountin water rights and water rights that originate in the Basin. The water rights owned by the District were originally surface water rights, which were acquired from farmers or ranchers. The beneficial use of these water rights was changed in Colorado Water Court to be legally used for the District’s augmentation program.

The District’s augmentation program is important to the residents of the San Luis Valley because it ensures the Rio Grande is not impacted by well pumping, protecting water rights holders and the ability of Colorado to meet its delivery obligations under the Rio Grande Compact.