2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Analyzing the Reservoir Beneath Our Feet: Denver Water's Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot Project

Monday, April 25, 2016: 4:10 p.m.
Confluence Ballroom C (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Bob Peters, PE , Planning, Denver Water, Denver, CO
Cortney Brand, PG, PMP , Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc., Denver, CO

Denver Water’s long-term planning indicates the need to develop additional water supplies.  Uncertainties such as climate change and population growth could present scenarios with serious challenges to meeting future water needs for our customers.  To address these scenarios Denver Water is investigating new types of potential supplies, including aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR.  Denver Water is conducting a pilot project to evaluate whether ASR using the Denver Basin aquifers is a technically and economically feasible method to increase water supplies.  Denver Water could benefit from ASR if it were able to store water in the aquifers during wet years and recover the water to help meet demands in dry years.  To access the aquifers, wells would be drilled into the Denver Basin throughout Denver and connected to the potable water distribution system.  Along the Front Range region of Colorado, several utilities have employed, with varying degrees of success, ASR within the Denver Basin.  Within the City and County of Denver, there are relatively few Denver Basin wells; so data on the formations and their productivity is limited. In 2015, Denver Water drilled four exploratory boreholes within Denver to help fill hydrogeologic data gaps. Standard geophysical logging was conducted in the boreholes as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging.  Used for many years in the oil exploration industry, NMR logging technology has only recently been adapted for use in groundwater resources investigations.  An analysis of potential aquifer productivity was performed using the logging data gathered from the four boreholes along with data from operating Denver Basin wells.  Findings of the analysis will be used to help identify a site for an ASR pilot well facility, which will be operated to further evaluate the viability of ASR for Denver Water.

Bob Peters, PE, Planning, Denver Water, Denver, CO
Bob Peters is a Water Resource Engineer at Denver Water. He has been involved with protecting, managing, and planning Denver's water resources for the last 25 years and is Denver Water's project manager for its Aquifer Storage Pilot Project. He attended Colorado State University where he earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Civil Engineering. He lives in southeast Denver with his wife and two children. He loves the outdoors and is an avid runner, biker, and skier.

Cortney Brand, PG, PMP, Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc., Denver, CO
Cortney is Vice President at Leonard Rice Engineers in Denver, Colorado. He has over 20 years of diverse experience in the water industry, and is a recognized expert in hydrogeology and aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) systems. He has planned, permitted, designed, and/or managed installation and testing of over 30 high-capacity production wells; and has managed numerous large-scale groundwater supply and modeling investigations. He has been involved in over a dozen ASR projects in the Western U.S., some as large as 30-MGD and $250 million in size, and is currently the Project Manager for Denver Water’s ASR Pilot Project. Mr. Brand is a member of the ASCE standards committee on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). He has a B.S. Geology degree from Lafayette College, an M.S. Geology degree from Arizona State University, and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado.