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Much of the CGS website is under heavy re-construction and will be for some time. The Publications area is working normally, but there is a lot of content from our original site that was in desperate need of updating. Please bear with us as we gather new information and rewrite hundreds of pages of material, gather and properly caption high-resolution images and otherwise bring you some very cool new and archival material never before seen! Stay in touch by subscribing to the >RockTalk< blog where we will announce new items periodically.


Colorado’s water resources supply water not only to the state itself, but also to many surrounding states. With a population that increased from one to five million during the last century, water has been and is the key resource that controls sustainable growth. The CGS plays a leading role in studying how geology and human activities impact Colorado’s important groundwater resources. Colorado is a headwater state, home to the headwaters of four major river systems: the Arkansas, the Colorado, the Platte, and the Rio Grande. However, 80% of the state’s water resources occur in the western part of the state while more than 80% of the population lies in the more arid eastern part of the state, a region that is more dependent on groundwater resources.

As a non-regulatory agency, the CGS conducts scientific studies of the state’s aquifer systems and investigates natural, “background” conditions of water quality, quantity, and movement. We are currently producing comprehensive geology and groundwater studies county-by-county tailored to inform the public, planners, and policy-makers on the intricacies of local geology and groundwater resources. CGS hydrogeologists serve as scientific advisors to Colorado’s nine Basin Roundtables under the InterBasin Compact Committee (IBCC). Our award-winning 2003 Colorado Groundwater Atlas provided a comprehensive look at groundwater and its geological, hydrological, and legal context in the state. A fully updated online version, with an initial deployment in January 2020, is an ongoing project that provides up-to-date information on groundwater resources across the state. The CGS also studies the effects of historic mining on water quality.

Water Resources

Surface water, Red Rock Canyon, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, May ©2017 hopkins/neoscenes.

Surface Geohydrology (Water Quality)

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SP-52 Messages in Stone cover

Publications

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MI-97 LiDAR-Based Map of the Cheraw Fault Scarp. Graphic credit: Colorado Geological Survey

GIS Water Maps

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Stock groundwater well, Lost Creek Basin, Weld and Adams County, Colorado, August 2009. Photo credit: Colorado Geological Survey

ON-010 Colorado Groundwater Atlas

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Abandoned mine structures in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Colorado. Photo credit: Colorado Geological Survey

Abandoned Mine Lands

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Pinkerton Hot Springs, La Plata County, Colorado, September 2012. Photo credit Colorado Geological Survey.

Geothermal (Hot Springs)

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Contact Us:

cgs_pubs@mines.edu
Ferrosinter deposits cover the hillside as natural acid rock drainage (ARD) flows into Lower Iron Creek, Alamosa County. Photo credit: CGS.

Surface Geohydrology

The CGS has a long history of research into the effects of geology and human activities on groundwater and surface waters around the state.