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Water Planning & Distribution

Water Sources

Click the Fluent Water Facts below to learn more about where your water comes from.


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Where does your water come from? It depends on where you live and how you are using the water. Your water might come from the ground beneath your feet, pumped to the surface by a well. Or it might come from a local river. Or the water may come from hundreds of miles away, even crossing the continental divide, to arrive at your tap.

Many Coloradans live far from the source of their water. For example, the largest storage facility for Denver Water, which serves metro Denver, is Dillon reservoir. This reservoir collects water from the Blue River, which is then sent through the Harold D. Roberts tunnel, under the continental divide, and into Denver for use.

If you’re curious to determine the exact source of your water, look for the “Water Quality Annual Report” or “Consumer Confidence Report” published by each large treated water provider. You can also request reports from smaller water providers. These describe drinking water sources used and may provide a map of the water collection system.


Community Drinking Water Sources Around Colorado

Colorado Community

Drinking Water Source(s)


Florida and Animas rivers

Glenwood Springs

No Name Creek, Grizzly Creek, Roaring Fork River




White River


Yampa River and its tributaries

La Junta



Arkansas River



Fort Morgan

Colorado-Big Thompson Project (Carter Lake)

Colorado Springs

Arkansas and Colorado rivers, groundwater




Cache la Poudre River, Big Thompson River, Colorado River


South Boulder Creek, Boulder Creek, Coal Creek


Straight Creek, Laskey Creek


Arkansas, Colorado, and South Platte rivers

Denver (metro area)

South Platte and Blue rivers (primary), Fraser River, Williams Fork River, South Boulder Creek, Ralston Creek, Bear Creek (secondary)

Denver (south metro)


Fort Collins

Cache la Poudre River (primary), Colorado-Big Thompson Project (supplemental)




Gunnison River

Water Origin Resources

The Citizen's Guide to Where your Water Comes From explains how weather patterns and aquifers supply the water we use. Learn more about the intricate distribution systems Coloradans have developed to deliver water to our farms and cities.  Flip through the online version or purchase a copy.

Citizen s Guide  4a40f4c93383c

This Citizen's Guide highlights the history, costs and benefits of these controversial water projects, from both an historic and current point of view. Flip through the online version or puchase a copy.


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Denver, CO 80218