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Southern Colorado water outlook good despite on-going drought conditions

Drought monitor map Sept 2020
Posted at 6:35 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 20:35:20-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Despite this week's snow, drought conditions remain here in Southern Colorado. "Water use was a little bit higher in 2020 than 2019, just simply because we didn't have as much of a rainy summer. It was hot and dry," said Colorado Springs Utilities, Water Supply Manger, Abby Ortega. The impact on the water supply is tracked closely.

The U.S. drought monitor shows much of the lower Rocky Mountain region in drought. Colorado is one of the harder hit states. "We're able to sustain that type of a drought situation because of the way our system has developed and been built," said Ortega. The network of closely monitored reservoirs is key to a consistent water supply that brings stability through the ups and downs of weather cycles. As the summer of 2020 nears an end, reservoir levels are close to 80% of capacity. There is enough water to supply Colorado Springs Utilities Customers for nearly 3 years.

Water storage counters drought conditions for the short term. A single season of dry can be handled-- extended drought is when water worries elevate.