Governor: CO’s Drought at ‘Historical Dimensions’

September 20, 2012

Governor John Hickenlooper says the drought gripping most of Colorado is at “historical dimensions,” and the state’s water supplies are being stressed like no other time in history. The Governor’s remarks came at a statewide drought conference this yesterday in Denver. KUNC’s Kirk Siegler has more.

Over the summer, when wildfires were burning intensely and heat was damaging crops, nearly all of Colorado was under severe drought conditions. Governor Hickenlooper warned an audience of local and state water managers that climate change will likely bring more severe droughts like this in the years to come. He says this illustrates how vulnerable industries like farming and tourism are to a state with scarcer water, and a booming population.

"At some point we’re going to have do the analysis of what is the carrying capacity of Colorado, and that is going to have a strong component on water."

With the state’s population approaching six million people, Hickenlooper says droughts like this one illustrate the need for the construction of more water storage projects and better conservation, as well as smarter decisions about where future developments should occur.