The City of Aspen has plans to buy land in Woody Creek that could one day become a reservoir, and officials hope to fill that reservoir using water rights the city has owned on Castle and Maroon creeks since 1971. But major questions remain about if this is possible — or necessary.

Even in a dry November, creeks and streams cascade toward Aspen from all sides. The Roaring Fork River snakes through town, after picking up water from the valleys and gulches up Independence Pass. Closer to town, there’s Hunter Creek, the iconic Castle and Maroon creeks and eventually Woody Creek joins the Roaring Fork, as well.

But still, officials with the City of Aspen aren’t convinced this is enough to guarantee a consistent water supply in a warmer, drier future. Margaret Medellin with the city’s water department said that the ability to store water — in case those streams run dry — is a key component of Aspen’s planning.

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