The Ninemile Canal: Irrigation along the Purgatoire River in Otero and Bent Counties, Colorado

In 2023, the Natural Resources Conservation Service partnered with local landowners to make improvements to the Ninemile Canal (5OT.448). The canal is a historical irrigation ditch in southeastern Colorado. The canal is approximately 9.8 miles long and located within the Purgatoire River Canon south of Higbee, in Otero County. The canal was constructed in 1888 and diverts water from the Purgatoire River near the confluence of Jack and Vose canyons and carries it east/northeast where it is further diverted for a variety of agricultural uses. The NRCS designed and funded several improvements, along two segments of the canal (segments 5 and 6) to improve the efficiency of the irrigation system and better manage limited water resources within the Purgatoire drainage.


Authors: NRCS Cultural Resources

Keywords: Irrigation, Ninemile, Otero, Story Map


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