Drought Status

Drought conditions somewhat improve in the West.

According to the August 3 update from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 6.4% of Colorado falls into the exceptional drought category, 21% is in an extreme drought, 29.6% is in a severe drought, 34.5% is in a moderate drought, and 43.4% of the state is abnormally dry. The map featured above shows the drought conditions on August 3.

More than half of the state remains drought free and finally some relief was provided for the Western Slope. Although helpful for drought conditions, the drought relief came with a price. The needed rainfall resulted in multiple days of flash flooding and dangerous mudslides, even deadly in the Poudre Canyon at the end of July. Glenwood Canyon saw colossal damage from mudslides in the Grizzly Creek burn scar where a 46-mile stretch on I-70 remains closed for possibly several more weeks.

As of August 9, cumulative precipitation in the Colorado River watershed was tracking at 92% of average and the South Platte River watershed was tracking at 109% of average.

Denver Water’s reservoir levels are 97% full. This time last year they were 94% full. Denver Water’s supply reservoir contents as of August 9 are represented in the table below.

ReservoirPercent Full: CurrentPercent Full: Historical Median
Eleven Mile102%102%
Strontia Springs102%93%
Meadow Creek9%35%

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.