Drought Status



Drought conditions improve immensely in eastern Colorado while severe drought conditions continue on the Western Slope.

According to the May 25 update from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 16% of Colorado is in the exceptional drought category, 13% is in an extreme drought, 6% is in a severe drought, 11% is in a moderate drought, and 20% of the state is abnormally dry.

The Front Range has received abundant precipitation and nearly half of the state is free from harsh drought conditions. The Western Slope, however, continues to suffer from severe drought conditions and is at a high risk for wildfires. The map featured above shows the drought conditions on May 25.

Though we are seeing an abundance of green, luscious vegetation on our side of the state, it is important to remember that the other side of the Continental Divide is not so fortunate. Best practices for water conservation should always be on our minds as Coloradans living in our extremely arid state.

As of now there are no restrictions being enforced by Denver Water other than the annual Outdoor Watering Rules. Following the summer watering rules is the right thing to do in our dry climate. These rules help preserve reservoir levels, which reduces the risk of water restrictions in the future.

As of May 24, cumulative precipitation in the Colorado River watershed was tracking at 85% of average and the South Platte River watershed was tracking at 101% of average.

Denver Water’s reservoir levels are 83% full. This time last year they were 86% full. Denver Water’s supply reservoir contents as of May 24, 2021 are represented in the table below.

 

ReservoirPercent Full: CurrentPercent Full: Historical Median
Antero99%100%
Eleven Mile103%101%
Cheesman84%81%
Marston68%33%
Strontia Springs89%93%
Chatfield37%52%
Dillon87%95%
Gross54%70%
Ralston77%59%
Meadow Creek2%25%

The district will continue to work with Denver Water on monitoring the watersheds and will provide updates to our customers through our website and social media channels.