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<br />COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD <br /> <br />Departtnent of Natural Resources <br />Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor <br />Harris D. Sherman, DNR Executive Director <br />Dan McAuliffe, CWCB Acting Director June 2007 <br /> <br /> <br />DROUGHT MITIGATION PLANNING FACT SHEET <br /> <br />. Based on long-term weather station records, <br />at least 50/0 of the state is experiencing <br />drought on 3-24 month timescales almost all <br />the time. ("Water in the Balance", 2000) <br /> <br />. Colorado has suffered and will continue to <br />struggle with the impacts of a multiyear <br />drought. Much of the potential for drought <br />mitigation requites extensive planning and <br />preparation long before impacts are realized. <br /> <br />. The severity of the 2000-03 drought eclipsed <br />many of the records established during 20th <br />century droughts. <br /> <br />. Drought is a continuing aspect of Colorado's <br />climate. Despite good science applied for <br /> <br />understanding drought, the only certain is that <br />drought will come again. <br /> <br />. As Colorado's climate results in warmer <br />temperatures, projected impacts include the <br />following: Smaller snowpacks, earlier snow <br />melt, Flood-control releases, extreme flood <br /> <br />events, more evaporation & dryness, less <br />groundwater, more droughts, more wildfltes <br />and water quality challenges. <br /> <br />. Drought has far-reaching impacts at an <br />economic and individual level and across the <br />local community as well. <br /> <br />. The effects of Colorado's most recent <br />drought resulted in millions of dollars lost in <br /> <br />agriculture, tourism and recreation. Losses in <br />each sector result in negative impacts on the <br />entire State. <br /> <br />. Colorado needs to plan for "the inevitable <br />major droughts of the future" as the <br /> <br />population and economic bases grow. Careful <br />stewardship of Colorado's water supplies will <br />be mandatory. <br /> <br />What is Drought? <br /> <br />. Drought is a shortage of water associated with <br />a deficiency of precipitation, and occurs when <br />a normal amount of moisture is unavailable to <br />satisfy an area's usual water consumption. <br /> <br />. According to the Glossary of Meteorology, <br />drought is defined as "a period of abnormally <br />dry weather sufficiently long enough to cause <br />a serious hydrological imbalance." <br /> <br />. Drought should not be viewed as merely a <br />physical phenomenon or natural event. Its <br />impacts on society result from the interplay <br />between a natural event Oess precipitation <br />than expected resulting from natural climatic <br />variability) and the demand people place on <br />water supply. <br /> <br />Colorado Drought Facts: Why Plan <br />for Drought? <br /> <br /> <br />Lake Granby Marina- Photo taken by William E. Green <br /> <br />For more information contact Veva McCaig at the CWCB at (303) 866-3339. <br />1313 Sherman Street, Room 721, Denver, CO 80203 <br />Phone: (303) 866-3441. Fax: (303) 866-4474 <br />Website : <br />