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Collection System

Denver Water is responsible for the collection, storage, quality control and distribution of drinking water to 1.4 million people, which is nearly one-fourth of all Coloradans. Almost all of its water comes from mountain snowmelt, and Denver is the first major user in line to use that water.

Denver Water’s primary water sources are the South Platte River, Blue River, Williams Fork River and Fraser River watersheds, but it also uses water from the South Boulder Creek, Ralston Creek and Bear Creek watersheds.

Denver Water’s collection system (PDF map) covers about 4,000 square miles, or 2.5 million acres, and extends into more than eight counties, including Park, Grand, Jefferson, Summit, Teller, Douglas, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties.

Reservoir Capacity (acre-feet) Percent of Total Capacity
Dillon 257,304 37.1
Eleven Mile Canyon 97,779 14.1
Williams Fork 96,822 14
Cheesman 79,064 11.4
Gross 41,811 6
Chatfield 27,076 4
Wolford Mountain (Denver's portion) 25,610 3.7
Antero 19,881 2.9
Marston 19,796 2.9
Ralston 10,776 1.5
Strontia Springs 7,863 1.1
Meadow Creek 5,370 0.8
Long Lakes 1,787 0.3
Platte Canyon 910 0.1
Soda Lakes 645 0.1
Total 692,846 100