Colorado officials are updating the outlook for spring and summer water supplies as the mountain snowpack falls behind normal and wildfire danger increases.
It appears drought restrictions may not be necessary this year, according to Denver Water — despite water becoming a scarcity in the states to the west. Although the annual watering rules will still be in place.
Drought-weary Californians can’t expect much encouragement from mountains elsewhere in the West: Snow that fills the Colorado River is lagging, too.
Colorado water officials will get an update on mountain snowpack and an early look at potential flooding threats from spring runoff Tuesday.
Snowpack in the mountain valleys where the Colorado River originates was only a little below normal on Wednesday, marking one of the few bright spots in an increasingly grim drought gripping much of the West.
All 8 major river basins dropped 2 to 7 percent due to the very warm temperatures over the past week.
The latest numbers for statewide snowpack show parts of Colorado are running behind where they should be for this time of year.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper rolled out a first-of-its kind water plan Wednesday, a draft plan to address the state’s projected future water shortage.
With demand increasing across the West, Colorado is drawing up a strategy to keep some of the trillions of gallons of water that gushes out of the Rocky Mountains every spring.
Facing dwindling water supplies, Western states are struggling to capture every drop with dam and diversion projects that some think could erode regional cooperation crucial to managing the scarce resource.