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2017 at a glance

Hillcrest water storage facility
125 construction workers take part in the concrete placement for the foundation of a new water storage tank at the Hillcrest water storage facility on Feb. 18, 2017, one of many projects Denver Water tackled in 2017.

Denver Water’s five-year capital plan provides more than $100 million to repair and replace water mains — which was a significant focus in 2017. But we didn’t stop at tackling problematic pipes. Take a look at some other highlights from this year.

  • Winter snowpack makes its greatest comeback ever. After a bone-dry fall led to the latest accumulating snowfall on record in our watersheds (Nov. 17), snowfall in early 2017 made a historic turnaround. In fact, December 2016 and January 2017 tied a record for the highest snow water equivalent in the part of the Colorado River Basin where Denver Water collects its snow.
  • Gross Reservoir expansion approved. In July, the Army Corps of Engineers cleared the way for the $380 million expansion of Gross Dam and Reservoir in Boulder County, concluding more than a dozen years of study and debate that ultimately produced widespread support for the project among water providers, environmentalists, civic leaders and others. The additional storage capacity in Gross Reservoir will help prevent future shortfalls during droughts and help offset an imbalance in Denver Water’s collection system.
  • $650+ million makeover kicks off. Denver Water launched a major construction project in Jefferson County, including building a state-of-the-art treatment plant next to Ralston Reservoir, north of Golden, Colorado. With a projected cost of more than $650 million, the project includes upgrading pipes and valves inside Ralston Dam, building an 8.5-mile water pipeline, repurposing Moffat Treatment Plant and building the new Northwater Treatment Plant.
  • A new, WISE way to use water. Starting in August, people in parts of the south metro area began getting some of their water through the Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency partnership, known as WISE. The partnership is a regional project between Denver Water, Aurora Water and 10 members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority that serve water to communities in Arapahoe and Douglas counties.