The federal drought designation is expanding in Colorado.

Colorado’s mountain snow pack is at 66% of normal. That situation has forced an expanded federal drought designation that now covers nearly 25% of the state. Colorado mountain streams are currently flowing only at about half of their normal rate.

The scarcity spurred calls for storing more water in reservoirs to sustain the state’s growth boom. There’s going to be people without water. It’s going to be a tight year," says U.S. Department of Agriculture snow survey supervisor Brian Domonkos. The southern and western parts of the state are the areas hit the hardest. The mountain snow pack that feeds the Northern Colorado water supply is in better shape finishing the season at about the same place it's been for months: It's worse than most years, but better than the rest of Colorado. Snow packs there are at 78%-84% of the normal snow-water equivalents for this time of year. Areas on the front range are faring better and are currently at 92% of normal.

So far, there are no official calls for water conservation or rationing. That may soon change as warmer weather starts to take hold in western Colorado. If you happen to know a really good rain/snow dance, feel free to break it out at anytime.

Credit: The Coloradoan       

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