#Colorado #Water Suppliers Seeing ‘Traditional Patterns’ Change Each Year — CBS #Denver

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map December 7, 2021 via the NRCS.

From CBS Denver (Alan Gionet):

Water supply experts are looking longer and things look troubling in some ways.

“All of our water supply planning factors in climate change,” said Greeley Water and Sewer’s Director of Water Resources, Adam Jokerst. “It’s such a driver of the water supply that we’re going to get in any given year into the future.”

That means planning to deal with the variability as much as anything…

Colorado’s warming climate, two degrees over the past 30 years, means more variability.

“The predictability. The year-to-year kind of traditional patterns that I think we saw for a lot of the 20th century are changing and every year is a little less predictable,” said [Todd] Hartman…

“We plan 50 years into the future. So climate change has become a big part of our thought process and our planning process,” said Hartman. “It’s true that we’re probably going to experience longer and more intensive droughts. So we need to be more prepared for that. One key to prepare for that is to build storage.”

Part of that plan is the expansion of Gross Reservoir, which has been opposed by some in the area of southern Boulder County, concerned among other things about years of construction. Water systems all along the Front Range know there is increasing population to deal with along with changing climate and potentially fewer opportunities to gather and hold water they will need.

“Spring runoff is coming sooner. So we have to be prepared to capture that water sooner,” said Hartman.

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