Monitoring of Colorado’s drought conditions is ongoing and accomplished by regular meetings of the Governor’s Water Availability Task Force (WATF). Meetings
are occasionally held in conjunction with the Governor’s Flood Task Force
. The WATF monitors conditions that affect Colorado’s water supply, including snowpack, precipitation, reservoir storage, streamflow and weather forecasts. The task force also provides a forum for synthesizing and interpreting potential flood hazard and water availability information.
When the WATF determines drought conditions are reaching significant levels, the chairs of the WATF work with the Governor’s staff to recommend that the Governor activate the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan
After the plan is activated, six Impact Task Forces (ITF) convene to determine both the vulnerability and impacts of a drought (physical, social and economic) to specific sectors. The ITFs are:
• Municipal Water
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Department of Agriculture work with the ITFs to convey accurate and timely information to the Governor’s Office and the Department of Emergency Management.
The WATF is comprised of Colorado’s water supply specialists, emergency management professionals, federal land managers, scientists and experts in climatology and weather forecasting. The WATF meets throughout the water year – October through September – to monitor drought information.