Taryn Finnessey
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Drought Response

Drought conditions have developed throughout Colorado to the degree that counties in the southern half of the state and along the western border are likely to see impacts to water supplies, our natural environments, and society. As a result on May 2, 2018, in response to persistent and prolonged precipitation deficits in portions of the state, the Governor activated the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan for the agricultural sector in the following counties:

Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Las Animas, Baca, Prowers, Bent, Otero, Huerfano, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, Hinsdale, San Juan, Dolores, San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose, Saguache, Custer, Pueblo, Crowley, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Lincoln, El Paso, Elbert, Gunnison, Mesa, Delta, Garfield, Rio Blanco.

All of these counties are experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought as classified by the US Drought Monitor, and many have already received some level of drought designation from USDA in 2018. On September 12, 2018 Governor Hickenlooper expanded activation to include Pitkin, Eagle, Summit, Grand, Moffat & Routt counties to the 34 already designated.

Activation of the drought plan and related response mechanisms such as the Drought Task Force (and Agricultural Impact Task Force) remain activated until deactivated by the Governor.  In this case activation has remained into the new administration as a result of continued drought conditions in southwestern Colorado.

This website serves to provide information regarding State level response to these drought conditions. While activation is currently limited to the agricultural sector, the state also maintains to support information on municipal watering restrictions.  That site includes a search feature where individuals can look up how their specific providers are responding to the drought.  The site also includes a drought meter with links to relevant monitoring information.

Documents and information pertaining to the State’s drought response during this activation are posted below.  For additional information on statewide drought planning efforts please look at the State’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.

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