Water Supply

Clear CreekThe City has historically been very forward thinking when it comes to supplying water to its citizens and future generations. Previous City officials secured some of the oldest and most senior direct flow water rights on Clear Creek.

Direct flow water rights are typically irrigation water rights that have been converted through the Water Court into Municipal use. Direct flow water rights are administered by the State Division of Water Resources according to appropriation date. If there is not enough water in Clear Creek to satisfy a Water Right, a “call” is placed on the River by the Water Commissioner for that appropriation date.

Protecting Our Water Supply

Protecting our water supply from potential wildfire impacts is an ongoing concern for the City of Golden.  To find out more about the steps the City has taken to plan for wildfire events please see attached.


In addition to diverting water from Clear Creek for regular municipal use, the City of Golden has also taken measures to ensure a continued water supply in times of drought.

Urad Reservoirs

Upper Urad ReservoirIn the early 1980s Golden began securing Water Storage for extended drought conditions and municipal growth demands.

Upper and Lower Urad Reservoirs were acquired along with water rights from the Henderson Mine.

Upper Urad Reservoir has a storage capacity of 332 Acre Feet (one Acre Foot is 325,852 gallons).

Lower Urad has a storage capacity of 250 Acre Feet. Also in the early 1980s, Golden began acquiring storage rights and land leases for the future Guanella Reservoir.

Guanella Reservoir

Guanella ReservoirGuanella Reservoir was constructed in 2003 to further enhance Golden’s water storage capability. It is located on the West fork of Clear Creek near the Town of Empire. It has a current storage capacity of 2325 Acre Feet (one Acre Foot is 325,852 gallons). Guanella Reservoir has a unique feature in that some of its storage capacity is unseen in alluvial (ground water) storage. There are nine monitoring wells used to calculate the amount of water in alluvial storage daily.

To see the Reservoir Elevation, and inlet and outlet flow, go to the Colorado Division of Water Resources (an elevation of 8620 is full).

Vidler Tunnel

Vidler TunnelIn 2000, Golden purchased the Vidler Tunnel and Collection System, which provides water from the Peru Creek Basin in Summit County. The water from the Vidler Tunnel is used for Fossil Trace Golf Course as well as other uses.

To see the current flow through the Vidler Tunnel go to the Colorado Division of Water Resources.

COG Mesa

 Golden has 402 acres of open space
and maintains 253 acres of parks right within the city itself.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa
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