Drought

Colorado’s semi-arid climate is prone to periodic drought. This poses extra challenges for Colorado Springs, which is one of the largest Front Range communities not located on a river or major water source. In the early 2000s, Colorado Springs, along with the rest of the state, experienced a severe drought that lowered water levels in the reservoirs we use to store our water. As the situation in California reinforces, drought is inevitable and will occur in Colorado again.

Having SDS fully online will help our community weather drought cycles. Phase 1 of SDS provides the infrastructure necessary to bring more of the water we own and store in Pueblo Reservoir to Colorado Springs. Once Phase 1 is complete in 2016, SDS will deliver water stored in Pueblo Reservoir, which sources include the Arkansas River basin and Colorado River basin.

However, in order for SDS to deliver the water, the water needs to be available. Our water supply is completely dependent on the weather, and this is the second year in a row where our supply is about half of normal. This year our water system’s storage capacity is near a historic low at just 49 percent of capacity. Normal storage is 65 percent of full capacity.

Phase 2 of SDS will increase our storage capacity by adding two new reservoirs to our water system. Having more storage capacity will allow us to capture and hold on to more water in the wet years so we can use it in dry years like we are seeing now. The new Upper Williams Creek Reservoir will provide a water savings account closer to home further protecting us from inevitable cycles of drought.

Many communities in Colorado would gladly trades places with Colorado Springs and its SDS project partners to be building a major new water project. Water projects in the west are becoming increasingly difficult to permit, build and fund. SDS will supply our community with water for many generations.
 


SDS Phase I

  • Pueblo Dam connection
  • Raw and finished water pipeline
  • 3 water pump stations
  • 1 water treatment plant
 

Contact Us By Mail

Colorado Springs Utilities
Southern Delivery System
121 S. Tejon Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80947

 

For General Questions

Phone: 855-737-4968
Email: sdsinfo@csu.org
Media contact: 719-668-8793

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