Drought is a common natural phenomenon in Colorado and can significantly reduce available municipal water supplies. In order to appropriately address and reduce drought-related impacts, it is imperative for municipal water providers throughout the state to anticipate and plan for droughts. A drought management plan defines when a drought-induced water supply shortage exists and specifies the actions that should be taken both prior to a drought to lessen impacts and response actions following the onset of a drought. The main objective is to preserve essential public services and minimize the adverse effects of a water supply emergency on public health and safety, economic activity, environmental resources, and individual lifestyles. Most important in developing a drought plan is to determine the actions and procedures for responding to a drought-related water supply shortage before an actual water supply emergency occurs.
How to Develop a Drought Management Plan
Drought management planning includes the development of drought mitigation measures to help reduce or avoid drought impacts when a drought occurs and a drought response plan to implement when a drought is officially declared. The CWCB has developed the Municipal Drought Management Plan Guidance Document
and the Sample of a Municipal Drought Management Plan
that municipal water providers and local governments may use as reference tools in developing local drought management plans.
The Guidance Document outlines the following eight steps that providers can use when developing their individual plans.
Any entity, including any municipality, agency, special district or privately or publicly owned utility or other state or local governmental entity, may submit a drought management plan to the CWCB Office of Water Conservation and Drought Planning (OWCDP) for review and approval. The drought management plan will be reviewed in compliance with the Guidelines for the Office to Review and Evaluate Drought Mitigation Plans
. Municipal Drought Management Plans reviewed by the CWCB are available to the public. The CWCB also provides Drought Management Planning Grants
to assist water providers or state and local governmental entities in developing drought management plans.