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Watershed Protection & Management

Source Water Protection

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has developed a source water assessment and protection plan for Colorado. In the assessment phase, they determined where each public water system's source water comes from, what contaminant sources potentially threaten it and how susceptible each water source is to potential contamination. They then work with the public water supply systems to educate them on how to interpret the assessment results and begin the transition into the protection planning process.

Denver Water's efforts include the Upper South Platte and Fraser watersheds.

Source Water Protection for the Upper South Platte

Denver Water’s formal Upper South Platte Watershed Source Water Protection Planning process was initiated in 2013. The plan was developed as part of a collaborative stakeholder process convened by Denver Water, facilitated by the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, and funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through the Colorado Source Water Assessment and Protection program. The planning process and final plan are designed to provide municipal water providers, local governments and the public with information about drinking water, as well as providing a way for water providers and community members to get involved in protecting the quality of their drinking water. The program encourages community-based protection and preventive management strategies to ensure public drinking water resources are kept safe from future contamination.

Best management practices were developed by the steering committee and subject matter experts and are being implemented to protect against contamination from chemical spills, inadequate septic systems, nutrients from agriculture, mine contamination, oil and gas development, and forest fires. This plan for the Upper South Platte Watershed serves as a guide and template for the development of plans in other watersheds upon which Denver Water’s customers depend.

This map was created by the Denver Water Planning Division as a support tool for the source water and watershed protection programs. Within this map you can turn on and off different layers, which identify key watershed features such as major bodies of water, the emergency response contact zones, potential sources of contamination (landfills, mines, etc.), wildfire burn areas and water quality data. Once a layer is activated, you can click on a feature in the map for more information and external links.

Related PDFs

Source Water Protection for the Fraser

The Fraser River Source Water Protection Partnership (FRSWPP) was established in 2015 to provide a framework for public water systems in the Fraser River Valley to collaborate on the protection of their drinking water sources from potential sources of contamination. The FRSWPP is composed of eight public water systems: Denver Water; the town of Fraser; the town of Granby; the Granby Silver Creek Water and Wastewater Authority; the Grand County Water and Sanitation District #1; the Moraine Park Water System; the Winter Park Water and Sanitation District; and the Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District.

Planning meetings are being held on a monthly basis. These meetings are focused on: delineating source water protection areas for each of the eight public water systems; inventorying potential sources of contamination; and considering/incorporating feedback from experts on a range of topics. Denver Water anticipates that the Fraser River Source Water Protection Plan will be finalized in 2017.


Watershed Management: From Forests to Faucets

As the water provider to 1.4 million people in the Denver metropolitan area, Denver Water directly depends on healthy forests and watersheds. Denver Water’s collection system receives water from rainfall and snowmelt on national, state and private land.

From Forests to Faucets is a watershed management partnership to help mitigate wildfires. Read more in our story map.