Grand Valley Water Providers Prepare for Another Year of Potential Drought
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Despite several rounds of precipitation this past month, the entire state of Colorado is still suffering from drought conditions, forcing water providers to make some tough decisions over the next few months.
Several water providers in Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins announced this week that they will be upgrading to Stage II drought, meaning mandatory water restrictions will be enforced.
Grand Valley water providers have yet to make the upgrade, but plan on reevaluating the water supply in a few weeks once Spring snow pack and runoff values are available.
"At that point, we'll have a good indicator if we are going to stay in stage I drought, which is voluntary water restrictions, or if we'll move into stage II drought, which is mandatory water restrictions," said External Affairs Manager for Ute Water Conservancy District, Joseph Burtard.
In stage II drought, water rates are adjusted to discourage residents from overusing water, and restrictions are placed on outdoor water use.
Currently, the average snow pack in Colorado is only at 79% of normal, and is 90% of the snow pack the Western Slope had in 2012.
Although above normal precipitation is expected in Western Colorado over the next three months, the Climate Prediction Center still believes much of the state will remain under drought conditions through at least June.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board launched a new website on Tuesday for all Colorado residents looking for specific drought and water restriction information.
"That will give you great tips on how you can conserve water indoors and outdoors, along with current reservoir levels, snow pack levels and what's going on in the local water community," said Burtard.
For updated drought, water restriction, and snow pack information, visit the new website: www.coh2o.co.