An filmmaker is including the Montezuma Valley in a documentary about water in Colorado.
“The Great Divide,” by Jim Havey, will be released in the fall, with showings in Cortez and Durango in September.
A trailer of the 90-minute film will be shown at today’s water seminar put on by the Southwestern Water Conservation District at the DoubleTree hotel in Durango.
Havey recently shot around Cortez and McPhee Reservoir.
“The Montezuma Valley is important because of the Dolores Tunnel built, in the late 1800s, that created an agricultural economy,” he said.
Havey stopped at the historic McElmo Flume Wednesday for some footage. The wooden structure is all that remains of pioneer ingenuity to delivery water to the south valley and Ute Mountain Ute reservation.
The portion of the flume that survives spans McElmo Creek east of Cortez and is part of an ongoing stabilization and preservation effort by the local community.
Funding has mostly been raised to create a pullout and parking lot off U.S. 160 that will include interpretive panels explaining the history of water in this area.
“The early engineering that went into delivering irrigation water here is a positive story I’d like to tell,” Havey said.
Havey has been working with the Dolores Water Conservancy District, Montezuma Valley Water District, SWCD and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
Footage of the Ancestral Puebloan ruins will show the water challenges that society faced 800 years ago, problems eerily similar to today.
“The Great Divide will play a very large role in remedying the unfortunate version of amnesia by which Westerners take their access to water for granted,” states Patty Limerick, board chair of the Center for the American West.
Havey Productions is an Emmy-award winning documentary film company that focuses on the West.
Other Havey films include “Centennial Statehouse”, “Broomfield, Spirit of the American Dream”, “Code of the West in Wyoming”, “Moving Mountains, Colorado’s First Interstate Tunnels”, and “Denver Union Station, Portal to Progress.”