Wednesday, April 4, 2012

98 percent of Colorado in a drought

Monte Whaley in the Denver Post: Scarred by destructive wildfires and an arid March, Colorado needs a cold, wet shot of moisture. State water managers are begging for it. They are already eyeing dwindling snowpacks and wondering whether water restrictions should be clamped on the state's towns and cities as warm temperatures persist. "This always makes us nervous," said Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker.

Many reservoir levels are actually in better shape than they were in 2002 — Colorado's last significant drought year, Baker said. But Baker said he worries that a hot, dry 2012 would drain reservoirs and other water sources so much that not much could be left for 2013. "It's really next year we are concerned about," he said. "We need the water — every little bit helps."

Denver Water gets about half of its supply from the Colorado River and half from the South Platte River, and snowpack levels in both basins are very low. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, both basins are at about half their typical averages for this time of year...

The South Platte River flowing through Denver in wetter times, shot by Tim Kiser (Malepheasant), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

No comments: