Job Description - Dam Tender



General Description:

The Paonia Dam Tender operates the Paonia Dam under the terms of the Fire Mountain Canal and Reservoir Company’s (Company) contract with the North Fork Water Conservancy District (NFWCD). The purpose of the Paonia Dam and Reservoir is to provide full irrigation to land located solely in the North Fork Water Conservancy District (NFWCD), as specified under appropriate decrees from the state of Colorado, and flood control. As such, the Dam Tender operates the Paonia Dam under the terms of the Company’s contract with the NFWCD. The Paonia Dam Tender may also serve as Superintendent of the Company, as approved by the Company’s Board of Directors (Board).



·         Understand and follow the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Standard Operating Procedure handbook for the Paonia Dam;

·         Attend training programs or seminars as required by USBR (e.g. Dam Tender Training), the State of Colorado, other agencies, or the Board;

·         Keep monthly inflow and outflow records;

·         Submit periodic reports to the Board on useable storage;

·         Monitor seeps and drains for muddy conditions or increase in water flow and submit monitoring reports as required to the USBR;

·         Frequently check the dam for movement or changes;

·         Understand and be able to operate all computers and mechanical equipment at the dam;

·         Report all problems to the USBR and the Board;

·         Manage weed control and rock damage to the dam;

·         Understand water rights and practices of the Company and Ragged Mountain Water Users;

·         Attend all inspections required by the USBR;

·         Make water releases as called for by the State water commissioner and put a call on the River when the direct flow into the canal falls below the required minimum;

·         In conjunction with the Board and appropriate government agencies, control reservoir inflow, outflow, and changes in reservoir storage during all seasons of the year, but especially during the irrigation season;

·         Assist the Company’s Superintendent and Ditch Rider in reviewing and implementing the Company’s Controlled Maintenance Items on a priority basis and assist in the development of a schedule of materials and costs required to perform the maintenance;

·         During the non-irrigation (winter season), generally visit and inspect the Panoia Dam every two weeks;

·         Before the irrigation season, visit and inspect the Paonia Dam at least several times each week;

·         During the irrigation season, particularly when releases from storage are required to satisfy irrigation requirements, visit and inspect the Paonia Dam daily;

·         Maintain all applicable certifications and licenses required for the position by the USBR, Board, and federal agencies.

·         In cooperation with the Superintendent, inform the Company web master of emergency situations, planned water outages,  water on / off dates, and other information pertinent to the shareholders so this information may be presented on the Company’s web site;




High school diploma or equivalent is preferred for this position, plus at least five years in increasingly responsible positions in irrigation water delivery, and the operation, inspection, maintenance of dams, irrigation canals, and related structures. Familiarity with Colorado water law as it pertains to irrigation is preferred. Demonstrated ability to interact comfortably and productively with the public, Company management and shareholders, and related government officials. Individual is expected to provide his or her own four-wheel drive vehicle, operating costs for which will be reimbursed by the Company. Able to safely use hand and power tools, pour and form concrete, use cell phones and computers, and operate heavy equipment. Occasional entry into confined environments, such as dam elevators, may be required. Must know how to contact pertinent public health and safety officials in the event of dam emergencies. Must be qualified and certified to operate a dam under Colorado and federal laws and regulations. Must submit to random drug testing as required by the Board.



The Board reserves the right to amend this job description and duties from time to time by presenting a completed and amended copy to the Dam Tender for review.