From 9News.com (Cory Reppenhagen):
Cheesman Reservoir is named for Walter S. Cheesman, who helped Denver Water’s predecessor – the privately-owned Denver Union Water Company – build the dam.
“It was completed in 1905, and it really is the beginning of Denver Water’s story, and actually the beginning of Denver itself,” Mahaffey said.
The 221-foot dam, constructed with gray granite from a nearby quarry, was at the time the largest dam in the world. It’s proof they were thinking of water needs long into the future.
Thirteen years later, in 1918, the citizens of Denver voted to purchase the private company running their water, and the utility Denver Water was born.
In 1963, Denver Water built an even larger reservoir in Summit County. They had to relocate the town of Dillon to do so, and the former town site is still below the waters of the reservoir that now bears its name.
To get that water down to the city of Denver, they had to build the Harold D. Roberts tunnel. At 23 miles in length, it was the longest tunnel of its kind.
It took some incredible feats of engineering to lead Denver Water through its first 100 years, and more innovation will be needed to sustain the booming population in the Mile High City into the future.