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Key Facts

General Facts

  • Denver Water ensures a continuous supply of water to the City and County of Denver and nearly 50 percent of Denver Water customers who live in the surrounding suburbs (water service contracts).
  • It is responsible for the collection, storage, quality control and distribution of drinking water to nearly one-fourth of all Coloradans.
  • Its primary water sources include: South Platte River, Blue River, Williams Fork River and Fraser River watersheds.
  • Other water sources include: South Boulder Creek, Ralston Creek and Bear Creek watersheds.
  • Denver Water was established in 1918 after Denver residents voted to buy the water system from a private company.
  • Denver Water is Colorado's oldest and largest water utility.
  • Denver Water is a separate entity from the city of Denver.
  • Denver Water derives its authority from the Charter of The City and County of Denver (Article X). See Operating Rules.

Denver Water's Water Use

Denver Water serves about a quarter of the state's population but uses less than two percent of all water, treated and untreated, in Colorado.

Total retail treated water use by category:

  • 47 percent single-family homes
  • 23 percent business and industry
  • 20 percent multifamily homes
  • 6 percent irrigation-only
  • 4 percent public agencies

Average single-family residential customer’s water usage:

  • 50 percent outdoor use
  • 12 percent toilet
  • 11 percent shower
  • 9 percent clothes washer
  • 8 percent faucet
  • 5 percent leaks
  • 3 percent other
  • 1 percent bath
  • 1 percent dishwasher

Customers Served

Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.5 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs.

Denver Water serves about a quarter of the state's population. 

Total Customers for Treated Water*
Inside City and County of Denver 170,675
Outside City (Master Meter) 76,118
Outside City (Read & Bill/Total Service) 74,624

Provides service to 21,873* fire hydrants.

* Numbers based on 2021 annual comprehensive financial report.

Denver Water Leadership

  • A five-member Board of Water Commissioners is appointed by the Mayor of Denver to staggered six-year terms.
  • The Board appoints a CEO/manager who is chief executive officer of day-to-day operations; the CEO/manager also serves as Secretary to the Board.

Water Rates and Fees

  • Rates are set by Denver’s Board of Water Commissioners.
  • Since its inception, the Board has set rates at a level sufficient to service its debt and to meet its expenses of operation and maintenance.
  • The Board has never required ad valorem taxes to meet its obligations.
  • The city’s charter requires the Board to charge more to customers who live outside the City and County of Denver.


  • Denver Water operates from the Water Works Fund, which ensures the separation between city hall and Denver Water. The general city government has no access to the Water Works Fund and Denver Water has no access to the city's general fund. Both funds, however, are accounted for by the city’s auditor.
  • It generates revenue from the sale of water to Denver and suburban customers and from the sale of hydropower to electric utility companies. 
  • Denver Water’s total operating revenues for 2020: $357 million.

Distribution System

  • Miles of water mains (pipelines): more than 3,000.
  • Miles of nonpotable pipes in system: 45.
  • Number of pumping stations: 18 potable, three recycled and two raw water.
  • Underground reservoirs in various city locations: 30.

Treatment Plant Capacity

  • Marston: 200 million gallons per day.
  • Moffat: 120 million gallons per day.
  • Foothills: 280 million gallons per day

Denver Water's treatment plants use "conventional" process design consisting of coagulation/sedimentation, filtration and disinfection processes. Denver Water’s treated water meets or exceeds all the standards set by the state of Colorado and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.