Facts and Figures
The Big Thompson Watershed is located 50 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado. Covering approximately 900 square miles, the watershed includes portions of Larimer, Boulder, and Weld Counties. Thousands of people in Larimer and Weld Counties depend on Big Thompson River water for drinking, business, agriculture, ranching, recreation, and tourism. In addition to its importance as a water supply, a healthy Big Thompson River provides aesthetic and environmental benefits enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
The Big Thompson Watershed:
- includes 173 lakes, 974 total river miles, and 530 perennial river miles, encompassing 7,212 watershed acres and more than 900 square miles
- provides drinking water to roughly 800,000 people in 32 cities, townships, and rural areas on Colorado’s Front Range
- supplies agricultural water averaging 270,000 acre-feet of water each year, or roughly 88 billion gallons of water (one acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons of water, or the average amount two urban families use annually)
- provides habitat for a variety of fish, avian, amphibian, mammal, and flora species
- offers recreational opportunities for millions of people each year, including fishing, tubing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, flora and fauna science tours, birding, and touring Rocky Mountain National Park