Colorado Water Management


Larimer County commissioners have again delayed their vote on a controversial water pipeline the city of Thornton wants to build north of Fort Collins. The issue has been tabled until December.

Sean Munson/Flickr Creative Commons

More than thirty years ago, the city of Thornton purchased water rights along the Poudre River in Larimer County. Those rights, about 14,000 acre-feet, haven't been tapped for municipal use — until now.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Stories of Western groundwater wells going dry started bubbling up during a multi-year drought that began in 2012. Farmers and rural communities throughout the Rocky Mountains and central California owned wells no longer deep enough to tap into underground water supplies.

But those anecdotal stories didn’t have data to back them up. Now they do.

Doc Searls / Flickr-Creative Commons

Colorado's water plan will probably include additional conservation measures from cities and industrial users. That's what members of the state's Interbasin Compact Committee agreed to at a meeting May 20.

The specifics are still being worked out, but the added conservation could save 400,000 acre-feet of water. That’s nearly three times the capacity of Horsetooth Reservoir, outside Fort Collins.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Parts of Southeast Colorado are experiencing a longer period of drought than the dry times that occurred during the Dust Bowl.

According to Nolan Doesken, the state climatologist, the past three years and eight months have been the driest stretch ever recorded for some parts of the state, including Rocky Ford, La Junta and Ordway.

"It was drier than the worst consecutive drought period of the 30s and of the 50s," said Doesken.

Farmers Look To Do More With Less Water

Aug 26, 2013
Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The future of agriculture across the Great Plains hinges on water. Without it, nothing can grow.

Andrew pmk / Wikimedia Commons

Colorado's largest water utility on Wednesday declared a Stage 2 drought, saying March snowfall was not enough to improve the current conditions.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Some Northern Colorado cities are considering watering restrictions as they contend with the lingering drought -- and its effect on the region's economy.

Grace Hood / KUNC

The future of the South Platte River was the topic of discussion at a Longmont meeting today. The Colorado State Legislature commissioned a study to understand water distribution problems in the basin.

mcconnell.franklin / Creative Commons

In a series of community meetings, the Colorado Water Institute and Colorado State University will dig into the controversial topic of well access along the South Platte River.