Denver Water exploring water conservation plans by drilling into aquifers

DENVER -- People driving down Colorado Boulevard are noticing a funky fracking-looking drill at the intersection with 14th Avenue.

The well isn’t fracking. It’s actually drilling into an aquifer hundreds of feet below us.

“Right now we’re drilling in different sites around Denver to just collect data to see if the aquifers under our feet have good potential to store water,” said Denver Water Spokesperson Stacy Chesney.

If the aquifers do have a lot of potential, Denver Water could possibly take excess water during wet years and pump it into the ground to save, and then pump the water back out during dry years.

Right now, the well drills hundreds of feet below and geologists will examine the findings to determine how well the rock below can hold water.

Denver Water is putting this fall’s research with drilling samples from last year.

If the study shows the pump and retrieval plan will work, they will build a pilot well within two years to practice, but the official program may not kick off for many years after that.

“Denver Water is all about looking to the future. We plan 50 years ahead and this is really future water supply planning in action,” said Chesney.

Colorado Springs, Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch use techniques similar to this.

Right now, Denver Water doesn’t take any water from the aquifers, but that could change if this test works.

The test and study cost $1.4 million.

This drill at Colorado and 14th will be moved to the Ruby Hill area in a few more days.  

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