South Platte River Basin Map Displays Real-Time Streamflow Conditions and Active River Calls

United Water and Sanitation District’s interactive map will be useful for water districts, farmers, municipalities and recreationalists

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 7, 2012 — United Water and Sanitation District has unveiled a first-of-its-kind South Platte River Basin map that allows water users and providers throughout the Front Range to get real-time, visual information about the status of the South Platte River and its tributaries.

The map ( aggregates hourly data from a variety of sources, including the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Colorado Division of Water Resources, providing comprehensive streamflow information from the South Platte River Basin. Map users can scroll over dozens of river locations to get valuable and timely information, including:

  • River height (ft.)
  • Streamflow rates in cubic feet per second (cfs)
  • Active calls on the river
  • Apparent dry-up points

“This map allows users to see the supply side along with the demand side of the river basin as conditions change,” said Josh Shipman, asset manager for United Water and Sanitation District. “We have taken a tremendous amount of data and put it in a visual, interactive format, making it easier for water users and providers to quickly and easily get information. It now only takes a few seconds to get information on the river that previously took hours to compile and compare.”

With numerous water rights and supply interests along the South Platte River basin, United Water anticipates a variety of interest in the map – from ditch companies and water districts to farmers and municipalities – particularly in a dry year like one we are currently experiencing.

“Ultimately this map allows any interested party to monitor real time, stream conditions to ensure they are receiving the full allocation of their call on the river,” said Ron von Lembke, chief of staff at United Water and Sanitation District. “But it can also be useful for water recreationalists such as kayakers and fishermen who are interested in water conditions related to their activities.”

The map encompasses all of the South Platte River basin – including each of the 16 Districts included in Water Division 1 of the Colorado Division of Water Resources ( Maps/ColoradoRiverBasins.pdf) While there is potential to expand the map to other divisions throughout the state, United Water’s immediate focus will be on adding streamflow monitoring stations and select weather stations in these districts to further enhance its current functionality.

Glossary of Terms:
Streamflow – The volume and rate of flow associated with a specific stream site.

River call - The demand for delivery of water rights; such a call will force those users with junior decrees to cease or diminish their diversions until the senior diverter’s rights are met.

Water right - A right to use, in accordance with its priority, a certain amount of water.

River basin - The land area surrounding one river from its headwaters to its mouth; the area drained by a river and its tributaries.

Source: Colorado State University Extension Office (

About United Water and Sanitation

United Water and Sanitation District ( was formed in 2003 to help Colorado’s municipalities and special districts meet their unique water supply challenges. Utilizing wells, pipelines, reservoirs, pumping facilities, and treatment plants, we build and maintain modern and efficient water delivery systems that serve our local clients. Formed as a Title 32 Special District, United is a governmental entity authorized to finance, construct, and operate water delivery and sanitation systems. Given that Colorado’s water resources and challenges don’t confine themselves to municipal and county boundaries, United Water is the only Special District in Colorado with a statewide service area.


GroundFloor Media for United Water and Sanitation District
Gil Rudawsky, 303-865-8155
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