BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Despite a rain and snow mix that swept into Colorado Wednesday night, the state remains in a drought until significant moisture is received. That’s putting a drain on the state’s natural resources.
In Boulder County, hundreds of ponds and lakes that are part of the open space network are about half full on average. Teller Lake has nearly gone completely dry.
Each pond and lake is unique with water levels varying greatly depending on the streams and ditches that feed it. Another determining factor is how much of that water goes to local farmers and growers for their crops.
“Everywhere the water has been lower. Not just the ponds and lakes but all the streams and the creeks. It’s definitely noticeable,” said lake visitor Liz Negrey.
At North Teller Lake, the situation is extreme; all that remains is a bare basin.
The lake is part of Boulder’s open space and has never been this low in recent history.
The lake drained drastically in the past month, leaving the fish that live in the lake to slowly die in shrinking pools of water. The herons and sea gulls feasted on the dying fish.
“As you come out of the lake all the creeks are dry and you can see the dried dog foot prints and you never see that,” said Negrey.
The lake ran dry after there wasn’t enough water running in the ditch that feeds it. Most of the water was used for emergency irrigation to help nearby farm land.
The amount of snow fall Colorado and the Front Range receive this winter will help forecast the future of lakes and ponds across the state.
“Concerns me that we have so little precipitation and that it’s this dry and if we don’t get a lot of precipitation this winter that it could be trouble in terms of the fires in terms of wildlife,” said lake visitor Sarito Carroll.