South Canal (1 of 2)
Water from the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is brought into the Uncompahgre Valley via the Gunnison Tunnel, turning the naturally arid valley into an arable agricultural area. At the point where the tunnel emerges from under Vernal Mesa there is a water purification plant which provides potable water for the city of Montrose. The bulk of the water immediately heads south about twelve linear miles in a canal (the south canal) where it flows into the Uncompahgre River. From here water is continually pulled out for use as irrigation water.