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Regulatory Framework and Administration of the Denver Basin Aquifers
GRAHAM, Glenn, Division of Water Resources, State Engineer's Office, Denver, CO

The Denver Basin, as viewed by the Colorado Division of Water Resources, consists of approximately 6,700 square miles contained within the outcrop/subcrop of the base of the Fox Hills Sandstone. Estimated water in place for the four major aquifer intervals is about 467 million acre-feet, or an amount equal to all the water that leaves Colorado by surface flow over about 40 years. Given the nature of the synorogenic sediments that comprise the Denver Basin Aquifers, the amount of ground water actually recoverable by wells will be considerably less.

In 1985, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 5, which established the current regulatory framework for the Denver Basin Bedrock Aquifers. This legislation applied the then current state of knowledge of aquifer characteristics to this resource in an attempt to allow rational and predictable development of the resource. Hydrogeologic data developed from the Denver Basin Core Hole Project may be used to justify changes to the statutory parameters used to quantify and allocate ground water from these aquifers.