Anadarko Petroleum Corp. asked the council to allow the company to use the water for its drilling and hydraulic fracturing programs to free underground petroleum products.
Anadarko Petroleum out of Houston will pay the city $9.5 million over five years to lease almost 2.5 billion gallons of water.
Supporters say it's a safe way to drill for oil and gas.
"We now are faced with large water increases, " Aurora Chamber President Kevin Hougen said. "And so by selling part of this asset that we're not able to keep right now, we're able to reduce the rates to citizens and to businesses."
Opponents say it pollutes the environment.
"We knew it was going to go down," said Patt Dunn of What the Frack Arapahoe. "$9.5 million is a lot of money. But my feeling is you sure can't drink oil."
In the end, council members said the big issue is keeping water rates down.
Revenue from the water sale could be used to provide a one-time rebate to Aurora water customers ranging from $60 to $150. The money may also be used to pay down water debt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)