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Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

    The Building Resiliency in the San Juan-Rio Chama Region project, managed by East Rio Arriba Soil and Water Conservation District and twenty partners, complements recent diversion structures with additional forest health and watershed treatments to increase the resiliency of the landscape to withstand stressors such as drought, wildfire and climate change in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.

    Completed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1976, the San Juan-Rio Chama Diversion is a series of diversion structures and tunnels that together carry runoff 26 miles across the Continental Divide from the Colorado River watershed to the Rio Chama, in the Rio Grande watershed. This diversion, along with the Rio Chama, provides approximately one third of New Mexico’s water supply for irrigators, agriculture, industry, communities and fish and wildlife. 

    Between 2017 and 2021, partners in the San Juan–Rio Chama region of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico will complete 1,000 – 1,500 acres of watershed resiliency treatments per year utilizing $6.4 million of Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and the Agricultural Easement Program.

        East Rio Arriba SWCD Board

                                                                                                    East Rio Arriba SWCD Staff                 

    This project was granted $3.2 million.  The East Rio Arriba SWCD is the only local conservation district proposal in the entire US to be authorized the use of an “Alternative Funding Arrangement.”  They have had a Partner-leveraged contribution of $13.4 million.  The East Rio Arriba SWCD also applied to and received from the Water Trust Board a $1 million grant.  The application parallels the RCPP, and the contract was signed this past May 2019.