Animas Consolidated Ditch Company
PO Box 3777 ~ Durango, CO 81302
The Animas Consolidated Ditch Company was formed in 1899 for the purpose of furnishing irrigation water to the west side of the Animas Valley. The company owns approximately 93 cubic feet of water per second, taken from the Animas and Hermosa Rivers. There is no charge for this water as it comes from the rivers; all assessments defray the costs of maintaining the ditch, adjusting water flow, and company operations. Class A shares can be transferred from one owner to another only by surrendering the old share(s) certificate to the ditch board. Upon payment of a $300.00 transfer fee, a new certificate is issued. Class B shares are available from the ditch company at $1500.00 per share or through transfer, in which case a $300.00 transfer fee is required.
The ditch company is managed by a board of five directors, each elected for three-year terms, with unlimited succession. A shareholder meeting is held each March, for budget approval, election of directors, and any other issues. Shareholders vote on the basis of shares owned; one share equals one vote. The ditch board hires a ditch walker, who maintains the ditch and regulates the water flow. Water runs in the upper end of the ditch all year long, except for short periods when the water is turned off for maintenance or repair. From Hermosa south, the water is usually turned off for several winter months and turned on again around May 1st.
The ditch company holds the right to an easement the full length of the ditch, to construct and maintain the ditch. No permanent structures should be placed within 50 feet of the ditch without notification to the ditch board. No trees, gardens, or pumps should be within 30 feet of the center line of the ditch. The ditch company respects landowners, and crosses property with care, but is not responsible for anything within the ditch easement corridor. Fences along or crossing the ditch should be free-swinging metal gates at least twelve feet wide. No culverts or bridges can be placed in or across the ditch without written permission of the ditch board. Before doing any improvements on your property it is recommended that you check with the board of directors for approval of said improvements. Often shareholders are unaware of how planned improvements actually effect the ditch. Purchase and maintenance of individual headgates is the responsibility of the shareholder using the headgate. Shareholders may install their own headgates, subject to supervision by the ditch walker. Landowners who burn ditch banks are much appreciated, however burning trash in the bottom of the ditch is illegal and causes down-stream problems. Water taken from the ditch becomes the responsibility of the stockholder, and the company is not responsible for individual easements or ditches.
Sixteen shares of Animas Consolidated Ditch water rights equal one cubic foot of water per second of time. One share of Animas Consolidated Ditch water equals 1/16 cubic feet per second, the flow of approximately 28 gallons per minute, or approximately the amount of water flowing from two ordinary garden hoses. The ditch walker can assist you in determining the amount of entitled water. Shareholders with less than four shares of water are not entitled to a headgate, but take their water by pumping or siphoning. Place pipes or pumps where they will not interfere with water flow or catch trash. Pumps and pipes must be removed for the annual spring ditch cleaning.
The Animas Consolidated Ditch is owned mutually by its shareholders, and cooperation keeps the water running and costs low. Please notify the ditch walker if you see anything in or near the ditch that should not be there.