Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Water Resources Division

Department of Natural Resources

Water Resources Division Head

Pete Nylander
(970) 563-2931

The Water Resources Division provides for the management, conservation, and use of the surface and groundwater resources of the Tribe. This work includes the installation of water-measuring devices on irrigation ditches, implementation of soil and water conservation projects, protection of existing water rights, acquisition of new water rights, management of noxious weeds, and strategic planning for the continuing development of water resources to benefit the Tribal membership.

Collecting Streamflow Data
Collecting Streamflow Data

Programs and Services

  • Water rights and water resources-related planning
  • Technical support to the Director of the Department of Natural Resources on water-related projects
  • Technical support to the Tribe’s Legal Department, General Counsel, and Special Counsel on water, natural resource, and environmental issues
  • Technical advising of Tribal members on water-related projects, including irrigation, erosion control, and drainage management (culverts)
  • Implementation of construction projects for members on water-related projects including irrigation, erosion control, and drainage management
  • Assists the BIA on projects related to the Pine River Indian Irrigation Project (PRIIP)
  • Oversight of the Tribe’s Weed Management Program including services to Tribal elders, services to Tribal members at homesites and on agricultural lands, technical support to other DNR Divisions and the Growth Fund, weed control on high-priority trust lands such as the Bear Dance Grounds and the Sun Dance Grounds, and oversight of private weed control operators on tribal lands
  • Management of the Tribe’s Well Permitting Program which was required under the terms of the Water Rights Settlement
Tribal Sprinkler Irrigation
Tribal Sprinkler Irrigation
Staff oversees installation of liner in 450 foot flume.
Staff oversees the installation of a liner in a 450-foot flume.

Projects to assist Tribal members are prioritized by

  • emergency situations,
  • the importance to the Tribe’s water resource management needs and goals,
  • requests from members on a first-come, first-served basis, and
  • the availability of materials, funds, and personnel.
  • The first-come, first serve issue prioritizing is sometimes juggled because of project length and considerations like weather and staff availability.
Pine River bank stabilization project
Pine River bank stabilization project
Completed repair of ditch road blow-out
Completed repair of ditch road blow-out

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