• Image 1: Irrigation Ditches




  1. No. The ditch company and water users are responsible for ditch maintenance, but you must not damage or obstruct the ditch.

  2. Yes, if your neighbor uses the ditch to deliver water to his/her property, he/she has a right-of-access to enter with the equipment needed to maintain or repair the ditch. Irrigators frequently check ditches upstream to see how they are flowing, clear debris from the ditch, or adjust flows at measuring structures that may be on your land.

  3. Ditch rights-of-way can be owned fee simple or by easement. When owned by fee, the ditch owner holds title to the land where the ditch runs and has absolute control. The width of a ditch owned by fee is usually described in the deed. If the ditch runs through an easement, then the ditch owner does not own the land containing the ditch, but they do have access and use rights. The ditch owner has the right to enter your property to maintain the ditch and ditch banks and perform “reasonably necessary” operations, even if that means disturbing land within the easement. The easement is as wide as is reasonably necessary for ditch maintenance and operation. This is often determined by historic practices and is not always described in a deed.

  4. Only if you have a decreed right to use the water and it is in priority or there is unappropriated water in your creek. The fact that the water runs through your property does not give you the blanket right to divert or use it. In most of Colorado, it is difficult to find unappropriated water.

  5. No. Digging a pond constitutes an impoundment. Forcing water to flow through a pond alters the natural flow and will increase losses to seepage and evaporation, potentially injuring other water rights holders on the ditch.

  6. First, try asking your neighbors for information regarding the ditch company or lateral association. If that is not possible, contact the water commissioner or the Larimer County Engineering Department. Most ditches and ditch companies are listed on the County's online list. Contact information for many ditch companies can be found online at www.watercolorado.com or through the Colorado Division of Water Resources.


         Index of ditch companies which operate within Larimer County


Attn Stormwater
Larimer County Engineering Department
200 West Oak Street, Suite 3000
P.O. Box 1190
Fort Collins, CO 80522-1190

(970) 498-5701