Aurora is the third largest city in Colorado and is not located near a major water source. Aurora must be innovative in its water management. Aurora has one of the most effective and successful conservation programs in the state and its Prairie Waters potable reuse system is the first and largest in the state.

Wild Horse is part of the city’s “all of the above” approach to meeting water demands that includes ongoing aggressive conservation, water reuse and water storage. Conservation and reservoirs work together. Both are necessary to provide a reliable supply of water in times of drought. Reservoirs are water bank accounts. Aurora Reservoir is the city’s closest reservoir and is used like a debit card to meet the community’s daily water needs. Mountain reservoirs like Wild Horse operate more like a savings account – they are used when needed.


Aurora has the highest reuse rate in the state thanks to the pioneering Prairie Waters system. Through Prairie Waters, 95% of the city’s water can be reused to the point of extinction. Essentially, this means that the water residents use for washing, laundry, showering, as well as a small percentage of the water from lawn watering, stays in the South Platte River Basin. Since this water is not native to the South Platte basin, we have the right to take an equivalent amount back out of the river. Aurora also uses treated water reclaimed from our wastewater system for irrigation in parks, golf courses and other landscaping throughout the city. Wild Horse Reservoir would allow the city to prioritize the use of its reusable water resources to help meet the community’s future water demands.