Drought Status

According to the May 26th update from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), 17.5% of Colorado is in an extreme drought, 26.3% is in a severe drought, 21.4% is in a moderate drought and 11.6% of the state is abnormally dry.

Collectively, over 60% of Colorado is officially considered to be in a drought. This time last year, the state was virtually drought free. The map featured above shows the drought conditions on May 26th.

As of June 1st, cumulative precipitation in the Colorado River Watershed was tracking at 94% and cumulative precipitation in the South Platte River Watershed was tracking at 96% of average.


Based on NRCS data from June 1st, statewide snowpack is at 56% of average. Snowpack in the Colorado River Valley is tracking at 66% of average and the South Platte River Valley is tracking at 55% of average.

Reservoir storage remains just above average for most major basins except the southwest reservoirs (95% avg), the Upper Rio Grande (78%), and Arkansas (91%). Statewide, reservoirs are at 104% of average and 61% capacity.

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.

The District would like to remind our customers that Outdoor Watering Rules are in effect as of May 1st and will continue until October 1st.

Following these rules can help preserve reservoir levels thus reducing risks of future water restrictions while leaving your landscape healthy and nourished. The following rules are especially important to follow given our current drought situation.

  • Water during cooler times of the day — lawn watering is not allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Water no more than three days per week.
  • Do not allow water to pool in gutters, streets and alleys.
  • Do not waste water by letting it spray on concrete and asphalt.
  • Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
  • Do not irrigate while it is raining or during high winds.
  • Use a hose nozzle with a shut-off valve when washing your car.

Visit Denver Water for more information on Summer Watering Rules and Watering Tips.