The Upper Dolores Watershed spans over 1,400 square miles in southwestern Colorado, with elevations ranging from 5,000 to 14,000 feet. The watershed is predominantly snowmelt-driven, with 70% of the annual precipitation falling as snowfall. The snowpack serves as a natural reservoir, with the Dolores River and its tributaries being the primary surface water source. The watershed is home to several reservoirs, including the McPhee Reservoir, which has a capacity of 381,000 acre-feet, and provides irrigation water to approximately 90,000 acres of farmland. The region experiences a semi-arid climate with variable precipitation, and long-term climatic trends indicate a decrease in snowpack and earlier snowmelt. The Upper Dolores Watershed is a critical resource for agriculture, recreation, and wildlife habitat.