Reueter-Hess Reservior in Parker, Colorado

One reason residents have to celebrate recent storms in our area is the contribution they have made to our water storage. Because of the immense rainfall, Rueter-Hess Reservoir, located in Parker, has gained about three feet of drinking water in the last three weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 8.26.30 AMWhen Castle Rock bought into Rueter-Hess in 2008, just 16,200 acre feet of water was available, at its original size. That’s about enough water to last the Town of Parker, at its current population (48,608 2013) for three years.

Last Friday, recent spring storms helped invested parties crack the 20,000 acre foot mark.

Along with celebrating filling of the reservoir, reaching this milestone is now prompting area governments to enter the next phase of development; planning for other uses outside of securing water rights. “This is very exciting. It’s not everyday, especially in Colorado, that you get to talk about water-based recreational opportunities,” said Rob Hanna, Castle Rock Director of Parks and Recreation.

Regionally, Castle Rock has been working with the Town of Parker, Parker Water and Sanitation, City of Lone Tree, City of Castle Pines and Douglas County to piece together an intergovernmental ‘authority’ that can begin to put in place recreational amenities that everyone can enjoy.

Once formed, the board will communally decide how and when to pull the trigger on spending tax dollars that will make Rueter-Hess a destination spot for fishing, canoeing and hiking enthusiasts. “With Parker Water we have five other entities joining together to form an authority to do some really cool stuff at Rueter-Hess,” presented Ron Redd, District Manager, Water & Sanitation for Parker.

The ultimate scene envisioned for entertainment at the reservoir is serine and tranquil. Planners want it to stand apart from what would be experienced at Aurora and Chatfield reservoirs. Instead it will be a place for ‘more passive recreation.’

That means no motorized boats will be allowed, only canoes for boating. And residents will want to get those fishing rods polished and ready. Recently, 250,000 fish were released to occupy Rueter-Hess waters.

However, keeping water clean for drinking remains important. “(Once formed) the board will have certain say when it comes to water quality; that’s going to trump any recreation issues,” commented Redd. Because clean drinking water we can rely on is high on everyone’s priority list.