AURORA – A Denver suburb has finalized an unusual deal to acquire water from an inactive gold mine.
Aurora city officials said Friday the $34 million deal gives the city the rights to about 1,400 acre-feet of water a year from the London Mine outside Alma, about 100 miles to the west.
An acre-foot is enough to supply one typical U.S. household for a year.
City officials say the water would normally flow into the South Platte River, which eventually passes through the Denver area, but a geologic fault traps it in the mine.
Aurora isn’t purchasing the mine itself.
City officials say mines aren’t a common supplier for utilities, but water is increasingly harder to find in Colorado. Like other cities, Aurora is searching for new sources as its population grows.