Toto, we’re not in 2002 anymore

15 years after the 2002 drought, all Denver Water reservoirs are expected to fill in 2017.

June 12, 2017 | By: TAP Staff
Cheesman Reservoir during the 2002 drought.
Cheesman Reservoir during the 2002 drought.


Following a wet winter and spring in the mountains (featuring a pretty epic snowpack comeback), Denver Water expects runoff season to fill all reservoirs throughout the water system in 2017.

This certainly hasn’t been the case every year. In 2002, for instance, a severe drought led to mandatory watering restrictions in the Denver metro area and extremely low reservoir levels, as seen in this photo taken at Cheesman Reservoir.

Another lengthy drought plagued much of 2012 leading to an announcement of mandatory drought restrictions April 1, 2013. Fortunately, thanks to an unexpectedly wet spring and customers’ reduced water use, the Denver Board of Water Commissioners downgraded those restrictions on June 26, 2013.

We’re fortunate we don’t face drought conditions this year, but we certainly can’t take these favorable conditions for granted. We never know when the next drought could hit, which is why it’s always so important that we all use water efficiently.

For information, tips and tools to help protect this precious resource, visit

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