When reservoirs go wild

To prepare for worst-case scenarios, Denver Water banded together with partners to battle the elements.

January 7, 2016 | By: Travis Thompson

First came a driving rain storm. Then a wildfire that quickly engulfed the forest surrounding Gross Reservoir. Uncontrollable waves crashed through South Boulder Creek as the dam could no longer hold back the water.

Fortunately, none of this was actually happening, but it was exactly what we needed for a recent emergency exercise in Boulder, Colorado.

More than 70 experts from Denver Water and 16 other agencies from the local, state and federal levels joined forces and spent the day monitoring the emergency and working together to make sure the public remained safe and informed during this mock scenario.

Among the participants were Boulder and Weld counties, the State of Colorado, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Weather Service.

Watch this video to see the teams at work:

This isn’t a one-time event. We frequently conduct these exercises at our dams in conjunction with impacted stakeholders and partners. Watch as 100 experts from Denver Water and 28 other agencies banded together at Dillon Reservoir in 2014: