Denver Basin Geology and Background

The residents of Douglas County rely primarily on underground aquifers for their fresh water supply.  This aquifer system, known as the Denver Basin, consist of four aquifers (Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe, Laramie-Fox Hills) contained in sand and permeable sandstone, separated by layers of impermeable bedrock. 

Courtesy of Colorado Geological Survery

The Denver Basin Aquifers have been an economical and quality source of fresh water for a growing community.   They have no source of natural replenishment, and are considered non renewable.  The water permeates sandstone and scientists are not able to predict the behavior of the aquifer as it depletes. 

Indeed, well monitoring data indicates that well production volumes and aquifer water levels are declining.  The Colorado Division of Water Resources, also known by its traditional name, the State Engineer's Office, has a wealth of resources, data and reports about the Denver Basin Aquifers on its web site.  An outline of the history and some of the intricacies of Denver Basin water rights can be found there, as well as a detailed discussion of the water levels in the Denver Basin Aquifers.


The Colorado Div. of Water Resources -  Ground Water Overview