Scarred by destructive wildfires and an arid March, Colorado needs a cold, wet shot of moisture. State water managers are begging for it. They are already eyeing dwindling snowpacks and wondering whether water restrictions should be clamped on the state's towns and cities as warm temperatures persist. "This always makes us nervous," said Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker.
Many reservoir levels are actually in better shape than they were in 2002 — Colorado's last significant drought year, Baker said. But Baker said he worries that a hot, dry 2012 would drain reservoirs and other water sources so much that not much could be left for 2013.
"It's really next year we are concerned about," he said. "We need the water — every little bit helps."
Denver Water gets about half of its supply from the Colorado River and half from the South Platte River, and snowpack levels in both basins are very low. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, both basins are at about half their typical averages for this time of year.
Officials have yet to implement mandatory water restrictions but could if Denver Water system reservoir levels drop.
Matt’s Rant: Apparently two biologists are wrong or extremely optimistic about future moisture levels for April. Conditions are very alarming for this early in the year. A rapid snowmelt and lack of spring moisture could set things up for a devastating summer. Fires, drained reservoirs and rivers that look more like a trickle will play havoc on this state come July. My only hope is that this will be one of the wettest spring and summer seasons on record. I am already preparing for the worst.