Water Access / Flow

70 percent of Colorado’s water is west of the Continental Divide and 70 percent of Colorado’s population lives in the Front Range.

So how do Colorado’s citizens receive their water for use, recreation, and consumption?

60 percent of the water in Grand County is diverted elsewhere, and there are plans underway, mostly from Front Range communities, to divert as much as 80 percent of the county's headwaters in the near future.

The Grand Ditch, started in 1894 and completed in 1936, is carved out of the Never Summer Mountain Range and diverts water from Grand County. The water flows down the Cache la Poudre River to the eastern plains of Colorado.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project is a water diversion project that takes water from Grand Lake on the Western side of Continental Divide to the Big Thompson River on the eastern side. The water flows through Adams Tunnel, 13 miles long, that runs underneath the Rocky Mountain National Park. The project began construction in 1938, and the first water flowed through the tunnel on June 23, 1947. The water diverted from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project provides water to Northeastern Colorado.

Moffat Tunnel, "holed through" on February 18th, 1926, operates as a trans-mountain line that transports water through Continental Divide to the eastern slope and ultimately delivers a large portion of Denver's water supply.

Grand County is only 67 miles from Denver, but the water in Grand County has to embark on quite the journey in order to reach the faucet.

Get Inspired & Explore

Rocky Mountain Winter Itinerary

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