Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 2:45 PM
2002 Municipal Response to Drought in the Colorado Front Range
In 2002, Colorado experienced one of the lowest snowpack accumulations in decades, as well as one of the driest springs. This came on the heels of several previous dry years. By the end of May the statewide snowpack was only 2% of average, and from October 1, 2001 - May 31, 2002, precipitation was only 56% of average. Statewide reservoir storage was 73% of average on June 1. By the late spring of 2002, the severity of the drought finally captured the attention of municipal water managers in the Denver metropolitan area along Colorado's Front Range. The result was a variety of policy responses aimed primarily at reducing summer outdoor water consumption through time and type of use restrictions, and secondarily at reducing long-term vulnerability to shortages. During the summer of 2002 the Western Water Assessment examined the nature and effectiveness of the responses to drought in 12 municipalities along the Front Range. The WWA also looked at the response of other sectors such as agriculture to the drought.