Dec 7, 2009 10:45 AM by Associated Press

Growth south of Denver straining water supplies

The number of water wells being drilled in the fast-growing area south of Denver has decreased, but that hasn't diminished concern about future water supplies.

The number of new wells has dropped as drilling has become more difficult and expensive because of falling water levels. A state report indicates the levels are dropping by as much as 30 feet a year in heavily developed areas around Castle Rock, 30 miles south of Denver.

Nearly 1,300 wells were drilled in 2000. The total was only 231 last year.

But growth is expected to continue, with some area leaders envisioning the population doubling from the current 200,000 to 400,000 by 2030.

Water managers are considering possible diversions from the mountains and agriculture and new conservation measures.



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