The proposed Wild Horse Reservoir would be in Park County, Colorado near Hartsel – about six miles west of Spinney Reservoir. Wild Horse would improve Aurora Water’s system reliability and resilience; help expand its potable reuse to meet future water needs; and provide more flexibility in managing its water in times of drought and emergencies.

The area selected in Park County would be an ideal location for Wild Horse Reservoir due to its proximity to Otero Pipeline and existing infrastructure that Aurora already owns, in partnership with Colorado Springs. This pipeline conveys water to Aurora’s Spinney Mountain Reservoir and can be used to fill the Wild Horse. High altitude reservoirs are desirable because they lose less water to evaporation and have fewer water quality issues. The proposed location, depth and size of Wild Horse would maximize these efficiencies. The location also has minimal environmental impacts.

Now in the planning and permitting phase, Aurora’s goal is to begin construction in mid 2020s, with projected completion in the early 2030s.


  • Would store up to 93,000 acre-feet of water
  • 150-feet deep reservoir, 12 miles of shoreline
  • Off-channel reservoir, no direct impacts to the South Platte River or its tributaries
  • Favorable environmental conditions
  • No new water rights or decrees needed for the project
  • Working with Park County to minimize impacts and maximize county benefits
  • Federal permitting led by Bureau of Land Management
Proposed Wild Horse Reservoir Configuration Map