Drought increases water supply uncertainty
May 27, 2020
By Josh King
As drought conditions become more frequent and severe due to climate change, there is increased uncertainty surrounding water supply projections. Since most of the Front Range cities in Colorado depend on mountain snow for their water supply, decreased snowpack caused by drought can lead to significant water shortages. According to a recent article in High Country News, there is an emerging megadrought that will directly impact the ability of municipalities to supply the increasing water demands of fast-growing Western cities, such as Denver.
Instead of constructing a larger Gross Dam to store more water that may never be available, Denver Water should focus their efforts on more productive conservation programs to adapt to a new reality: a West with less water. Even considering new supply and water storage projects without first concentrating on conserving our current water resources is foolish and potentially devastating. As this article in the Colorado Sun discusses, there is an urgent need to integrate water conservation efforts and environmental protection into growth management plans. Rapidly growing cities, such as Denver, should be forced to develop within the limits of their existing water supply.
With a megadrought looming, expanding Gross Reservoir will do nothing to increase Denver’s water supply. The project is unsustainable and impractical.