One five-letter word defines the economic history of Colorado Springs: water. Without our far-flung system of collecting, storing, transporting and treating water, the city would not exist. Unlike Pueblo or Denver, both of which were located on the main stem of significant rivers (the Platte and the Arkansas), the city’s founders chose, as Manly Ormes wrote in 1916, “… an arid plateau where not even the native trees could get started … it was nothing but a desert with a wonderful setting.”
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