Florida Ditch Company
The Florida Farmers Ditch Company was formed in 1889, and the Florida Canal Company in 1893, in order to provide adjudicated irrigation water to agricultural water users on the Florida Mesa near Durango, Colorado. The Florida Englargement Canal Company and the Florida Co-Operative Ditch Company were formed in 1908 and 1910 respectively, which expanded delivery of agricultural water to farmers on the Florida Mesa. On 01/01/2014, the Florida Farmers Ditch Company, Florida Canal Company, Florida Canal Enlargement Company, and the Florida Cooperative Ditch Company were consolidated into one company, The Florida Consolidated Ditch Company. At that time, all share certificates from the previously named companies were accounted for and exchanged for new certificated titled in the name of the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company.
The Florida Consolidated Ditch Company provides water to approximately 352 shareholders serving 18,700 acres of irrigated Agriculture. The Florida Farmers was decreed for 45 cfs, Florida Canal for 40 cfs, Florida Canal Enlargement is decreed for 40 cfs, and the Florida Co-operative is decreed for 30 cfs for a total decreed rate of flow of 155 cfs for the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company for irrigation purposes. In addition, the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company provides water to Pastorius Reservoir, which is a Colorado State Wildlife Area. On average the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company delivers approximately 24, 125 acre-feet of water per year and operates 86.5 miles of canals, ditches and laterals. The Florida Consolidated Ditch Company’s budget is supplemented by the Florida Water Conservancy District.
The Florida Project
In the 1930’s, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation conducted feasibility studies for construction of the Florida Project, and Lemon Reservoir was constructed in 1963 which provides supplemental irrigation water for 19,450 acres of agricultural land. Lemon Reservoir is approximately 0.5 miles wide and 3 miles long with a surface area of 622 acres, and a total capacity of the reservoir is 40,146 acre feet. In additiona to the construction of Lemon Dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation work included rebuilding the Florida Farmers Diversion Dam, enlarging 3.9 miles of the Florida Canal, and building a new lateral system to serve about 3,360 acres of land in the southeast portion of the Florida Mesa. Including the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, there are 973 project users which during an average year are delivered approximately 24,360 acre feet of water to users on the Florida Mesa. This Project water is delivered through the conveyance system owned and operated by the Florida Consolidated Ditch Company