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Drought Watch

Drought Watch

Hot and dry conditions make it increasingly important to conserve water! The City of Boulder constantly monitors conditions in our watershed while managing water resources and reservoirs. This page will help you find information about local, state and national drought conditions.

Drought Response Plan

The City of Boulder's Drought Plan provides guidance for recognizing droughts that may affect water supply availability, and for responding appropriately to these droughts.

The city uses drought rules and regulations to provide specific details that the city manager, in consultation with City Council, may use to declare or lift a drought alert stage, as well as guide an appropriate response to a drought event.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a drought?

A drought on the ground and "drought" in terms of water supply status are different distinctions. While the two sometimes go hand-in-hand, a weather-based drought does not always translate into a city declaring watering restrictions based on their existing and projected water supply levels.

How does Boulder determine its water supply and water restrictions?

The primary factors in the city’s annual May 1 water supply evaluation include the:
  • high-mountain snowpack measurements in the city’s watershed,
  • water storage levels in the city’s reservoirs, and
  • available amount of CBT water.

To learn more about the deciding factors in the city's water supply evaluation, click on the "How the City of Boulder Determines Whether to Impose Water Restrictions" link in the related links section.

Why does the city wait to make an announcement until May 1?

Waiting until May 1 is beneficial for two reasons:

  1. March and April are typically the two snowiest months in Colorado and measuring earlier could result in a lower peak snowpack reading; and
  2. Measuring on the same day each year allows the city to accurately compare readings from year to year.

What about other cities who are declaring drought?

Drought is a local issue where each city has its own water rights portfolio, storage capacity and precipitation. Boulder proactively manages its water production to maximize savings and long-term storage in dry years. Sometimes Boulder is in a different situation than neighboring communities and sometimes we share common concerns.

What can I do to help?

Find out about city programs that can help you save water this year and stay within your water budget. You can monitor your own water use on you monthly water bill.

 

 

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