Here’s the proclamation from the Governor’s office:
WHEREAS, the State is in Phase 3 activation of the State Drought Plan for twenty-one (21) Colorado counties; and
WHEREAS, Phase 3 of the State Drought Plan advises a “Drought Emergency” be declared by Proclamation of the Governor; and
WHEREAS, the State received a summary of heightened concerns emerging from county commissioners, local emergency managers, and consistent, critical input from the Water Availability, Agriculture Impact, and Municipal Impact Task Forces; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Natural Resource and State Drought Task Force jointly sent a memorandum to the Governor recommending entering a drought emergency for western Colorado counties experiencing impacts from extensive severe (D2), extreme (D3), and exceptional (D4) drought conditions, including Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Grand, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Mesa, Delta, Pitkin, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, San Juan, Hinsdale, Dolores, Montezuma, La Plata, and Archuleta; and
WHEREAS, counties impacted along the continental divide in abnormally dry (D0) conditions and moderate (D1) drought will continue to be closely monitored and added to a drought emergency proclamation as appropriate; and
WHEREAS, the severe drought conditions and associated impacts in Colorado constitute a drought emergency;
THEREFORE, I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim a drought emergency in Colorado for the following twenty-one (21) western counties: Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Grand, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Mesa, Delta, Pitkin, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, San Juan, Hinsdale, Dolores, Montezuma, La Plata, and Archuleta; and
THEREFORE, I further direct the following measures:
The Drought Task Force will continue to meet and monitor evolving conditions; Unmet and urgent needs from communities and regional liaisons will be reported to the Drought Task Force chairs; The Agricultural Impact Task Force and Municipal Water Task Force will continue to meet monthly or as needed to recommend opportunities for incident mitigation to minimize potential impacts; and The need for additional task forces, such as energy or wildlife response teams, will continue to be evaluated as conditions evolve through identified agency representatives.
in the State of Colorado.
GIVEN under my hand and the Executive Seal of the State of Colorado, this thirtieth day of June, 2021 — Jared Polis
From Heart of the Rockies Radio (Danny “Dan R” Ridenour):
Governor Jared Polis has formally declared a drought emergency for western Colorado by Proclamation of the Governor as counties continue to face evolving impacts and water shortages from a multi-year, severe drought episode affecting industries and citizens.
On June 22, 2020, Phase 2 of the State’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan was activated for 40 counties and expanded to all 64 counties by September. As extreme drought and record setting fires expanded across the state, drought response moved into Phase 3 (the highest level of activation) of the State Drought Plan. Spring 2021 precipitation resulted in the stark contrast between significant drought relief for counties east of the continental divide and deepening drought and fire danger for the entire west slope…
While Colorado can face a range of shortages across the state every year, the cumulative impacts of drought stress our landscapes, reservoir storage, wildfire risks, and capacity of many water-dependent economies to rebound from previous year impacts and debts. We continue to work with our neighboring states to implement interstate agreements and consider additional potential solutions.
To stay informed on Colorado drought issues, sign up for the State’s Drought Updates or visit the Colorado Water Conservation Board website.
Dolores River. 0.0 cfs at Slickrock. pic.twitter.com/9hJyl9QcF8
— Zak 🦦 Podmore (@zak_podmore) July 1, 2021