How Does CU Boulder Use Ditch Water?

How Does CU Boulder Use Ditch Water?


CU uses shares of Anderson Ditch and Smith-Goss Ditch to water 100% of its main Boulder campus, and most of the East Research Park and Newton Court. A Toro Network 8000 sprinkler program integrated with a weather station at Franklin Field uses state of the art irrigation controls to apply old-style ditch-water in new-style ways. CU estimates savings of $440,000 a year from using ditch water instead of treated City-water.

In 1876, CU received 10 shares of Anderson Ditch with the land donated for the original campus.

Right, top: The CU Quadrangle in 1898, with an Anderson Ditch lateral in the foreground. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Historical Society Collection.

Right, bottom: The same place 110 years later. Anderson Ditch water has turned the campus into the lush area it is today. There is still a small lateral running along the far side of the sidewalk.