Colorado climatologists say state facing drought |

Colorado climatologists say state facing drought

The drought in southern Colorado has destroyed a significant amount of crops like winter wheat, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Chris Tallman's Farm in Brandon, Colorado. Tallman show how dry the earth is in one of his crop fields. RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

DENVER–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.

Read more: 98 percent of Colorado in a drought, say CSU climatologists – The Denver Post

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