The Front Range May Have Gotten Soaked, But Half Of #Denver’s #Water Supply Comes From The #Drought-Stricken Western Slope — #Colorado Public Radio

Denver Water’s collection system via the USACE EIS

From Colorado Public Radio (Michael Elizabeth Sakas):

The National Weather Service said Denver has seen its wettest start to a year since 1983.

All that rain has made significant improvements to Colorado’s drought map. Three months ago, nearly the entire state was in a moderate drought or worse. Now that’s just 43 percent.

But the map shows a tale of two Colorados. While above-average rain has brought relief to the eastern half of the state, the West Slope is in a terrible drought.

Colorado Drought Monitor map June 1, 2021.

“Half of Denver Water’s supply comes from that West Slope side,” said Nathan Elder, manager of water supply at Denver Water.

So while those who live in Denver and the Front Range might be thinking, “What drought?”, Elder says it’s important to understand that water conservation is still needed, especially since half the city’s system exists in areas that are historically dry…

Elder says he expects reservoirs in the South Platte system will fill…

Elder says peak flows into Dillion reservoir will be about half of what’s normal. But overall, Denver’s reservoirs are 89 percent full, which Elder says is average for this time of year.

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