Colorado Drought Update

Colorado has been plagued by drought over the past couple of years.

This blog addresses the current drought situation and drought forecast in that state and also briefly discussing a current drought emergency in another Western state. 

Drought Map

The current drought situation in Colorado

Good news! It appears the precipitation received last fall with a relatively healthy snow-pack in some mountain ranges has the Denver area and the northern Front Range enjoying an absence of drought. This is great news for an area that has been roiled by lack of moisture and prolonged heat waves over the past several years. While the Mile-High City and a large portion of north-central Colorado is without drought at this time, much of the State is still abnormally dry (consider the isolated nature of the September flooding event). Even a portion of the Colorado High Plains is in extreme drought, as the map will show.

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Denver and much of the state should see no change in local drought status through April of this year. The southeast portion of the state will see drought persist or worsen during this time, however. While that doesn’t affect any major population centers, agriculture could suffer. That industry is suffering very badly in another populous Western state.

California is record-breaking dry.

California has been experiencing summer-like drought throughout this past month. Lakes and reservoirs have receded leaving docks stuck in dirt, agricultural lands have been laid to waste and vicious wildfires have destroyed homes and many acres of forest. All this in what is typically California’s wettest month! With mountain snowpack being measured in inches rather than feet, it looks like the situation will only become more dire as the year progresses.

California is in a major drought emergency. For the first time in state history, many areas are in a state of ‘exceptional drought.’ This is even more severe than ‘extreme drought’ status.

What can be done?

In California, government officials are asking people to cut back on water consumption as much as possible. Similar to the message of campaigns in Colorado during peak drought, Californians are asked to use only what they need and even less. While there is no drought emergency in the major population centers of Colorado at this time, there are steps that can be taken to increase resiliency against the impact of drought. Water conservation to keep reservoir levels healthy is imperative. Ditching unnecessarily thirsty toilets for high-efficiency models, installing low-moisture xeriscape to replace turf grass and using lower-flow shower heads and faucet aerators are all great ways to reduce your consumption. Give us a call at 303.832.2971 or visit our website to learn how CAP Management can help your association become more resilient against drought.