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Planning for your future water supply

This rendering shows the expanded Gross Reservoir after the project raises the existing 340-foot-tall Gross Dam by an additional 131 feet. Image credit: Denver Water.

Our experts work 24/7 to deliver clean, safe, reliable water to 1.5 million people — including you and your family. This includes preparing our community for the demands of a more uncertain and complex water future.

We’re building a new state-of-the-art treatment plant, replacing old delivery pipes, reusing water, implementing efficiency practices, and — one of our most critical projects — working to expand Gross Reservoir on federal lands in Boulder County. Gross Dam, built in the 1950s, was designed to be raised in the future when needed. That time is now.

The Gross Reservoir Expansion Project will allow us to capture extra water when it’s available to help us avoid shortages during droughts. The additional storage also will better balance the north and south sides of our water system, allowing us to be more flexible in reacting to emergencies, like wildfires, and more frequent and extreme weather patterns due to climate change.

We’ve been working on this project for nearly 20 years, since 2003. State officials approved the project in 2016. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave its nod in 2017 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the final federal approval in July 2020. We’re working through the final stages of the legal process before beginning construction.

Over the years the project became a model for how to negotiate new water storage projects, earning the support of major environmental groups, business leaders, water users on both sides of the Continental Divide and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.

In addition to nearly 35 agencies and organizations involved in the permitting process, we have worked to address the concerns of our neighbors affected by construction to ensure safety while minimizing public inconveniences like traffic, dust and noise.

We’ve also committed to more than 60 different projects, creating new habitat and protecting rivers and streams on both sides of the Divide. State officials, after thoroughly reviewing the project and our related commitments, have determined it would result in a net improvement to water quality on both sides of the Continental Divide.