August 2016 Drought Update

Approaching Storm

Approaching Storm

July 2016, was the second month in a row during which the state experienced well below average precipitation. Statewide mountain precipitation was only 59 percent of average, the driest July since 2008. Temperatures were also above average. August to-date has brought near average precipitation and slightly cooler temperatures statewide. However, the Front Range corridor remains dry and warm.

Statewide water year-to-date mountain precipitation as reported from NRCS is at 97 percent of normal as of August 16th.

Reservoir storage statewide is 109 percent of normal. The Arkansas and the South Platte basins have the highest storage levels in the state at 115 percent of average; the Upper Rio Grande has the lowest storage levels at 89 percent. All other basins are above normal at 106 to 109 percent of average.

Front Range water providers all reported storage levels ranging from 83 to 124 percent of average, however continued warm and dry conditions have resulted in increased demands 10-20 percent greater than last year.

The Statewide Water Supply Index (SWSI) indicates that conditions are drier this month than last; however the majority of the state remains near average.

Agricultural producers are seeing high yields for both wheat and corn, and orchards are reporting good conditions as well.

29 percent of the state is experiencing D0 or abnormally dry conditions, an increase from last month; D1 has also been introduced in the northern Front Range along the I-25 corridor. Conditions will continue to be monitored closely.

Additional information can be found at or by contacting Ben Wade at

Water Availability Task Force Co- Chairs
Taryn Finnessey, CWCB Tracy Kosloff, DWR
303.866.3441 ext. 3231 303-866-3581 ext. 8211

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