December 31, 2007--Water underground: Wells playing more of part in supply (Pueblo Chieftain)

Water users are looking at ways to store water in the ground. Today, about 18 percent of the state’s population depends on wells for water supply. In fact, the fastest-growing areas in the state are located above the Denver Basin aquifers, a series of deep underground reserves not physically connected with any of the surface water supplies of the state. The problem is that as the water is used, it is not naturally replenished. Head pressure on the aquifers was once great enough to provide hydraulic pressure for the elevators at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Now, the profusion of wells has reduced their yields and water providers who thought they had a 100-year supply of water face a dilemma: Find more water or pay greater energy costs for pumping water. The hunt for water will put more pressure on existing water supplies. A South Metro Water Supply Authority report in June indicated the participating water providers would first look within the South Platte basin for additional water supplies, but may branch out to find sources in the Arkansas Valley or Western Slope as growth continues.

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