A free-flowing High Line Canal

Denver Water sends water back to the canal for the first time in two years.

May 15, 2017 | By: TAP Staff
Denver Water has sent water to the High Line Canal for the first time since September 2013.
Denver Water has sent water to the High Line Canal for the first time since May 2015.


South Platte River water is running to the High Line Canal for the first time since May 2015.

The canal has an 1879 water right, which is fairly junior by Colorado water rights standards. Denver Water typically only runs water to the canal intermittently from April to October, depending on the availability of South Platte River water and demand from irrigation customers.

A high spring runoff in 2015 destroyed the already deteriorating, 130-year-old diversion dam in Waterton Canyon. Denver Water replaced the dam in 2016.

With the new dam complete, conditions are suitable for Denver Water to send water to the canal once again; a beautiful sight for irrigation customers and recreationists alike.

Check out ‘Thinking big’ about the future of the High Line Canal to learn how the High Line Canal Conservancy is working to enhance recreation along the 71-mile canal and trail.

6 thoughts on “A free-flowing High Line Canal”

  1. Now if we could just fill it up in the winter and get it to consistently freeze we could ice skate on it.

  2. Thank you for putting water into the Highline Canal. For the longest time, I worried that
    the trees and bushes along the canal were dying due to lack of moisture. It would be great if the sewage grey water could also be sent down the canal to supplement needed water for the cottonwood trees.

  3. So glad to hear it is getting water again. It should be filled whenever possible to water the trees, plants, and animals along it and whenever flooding is occurring in states down river. I hate to hear talk of efficiency of delivering water to “customers” when the trees along it are dying of thirst. The trail along it is wonderful because of the water within it. I hope the sustainability effort includes keeping water flowing in it, not converting it to a dry ecosystem.

    1. We understand the importance of a healthy and sustainable natural environment. That’s why Denver Water has partnered with the High Line Canal Conservancy on the future of the canal. One of the innovative measures being looked is diverting more stormwater from rains into the canal to help the plants and trees. Greenwood Village and Denver are planning to test stormwater projects later this year. If you haven’t already, check out our story, ‘Thinking big’ about the future of the High Line Canal, for more info.

    1. The canal has been running since Thursday, May 11 at 4 a.m. As of today, we’re still releasing South Platte River water into the canal.

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