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Journey of Water: Watersheds and reservoirs

Four-part series goes behind the scenes to explore the people and system that brings water to our homes.


As the winter snows melt away, Denver’s drinking water begins its journey down Colorado’s mountain rivers and streams.

It’s first stop is one of Denver Water’s reservoirs.

Like Cheesman Reservoir, once heralded as the world’s tallest dam at 221 feet above the streambed when it was finished in 1905.

Nearly 100 years after workers completed the oldest reservoir in the organization’s system, the Hayman Fire nearly destroyed everything around the reservoir during the summer of 2002.

The impacts of the fire so long ago are still present today at Cheesman and down the South Platte River to the next dam inline to store Denver’s water supply at Strontia Springs Reservoir.

We continue the “Journey of Water” with Chapter 2, following the unique individuals who live and work at these two reservoirs and straddle the boundary between natural and manmade environments.

If you are just joining our trip through Denver Water’s system, be sure to catch Chapter 1: Mountains.

This four-part series follows water’s path from snowflake to tap. We meet some of the dedicated people who guide the water down to its path and into our homes.

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Can’t wait to see the next chapter? Continue the journey now at