How Climate Might Be Changing Our Water Supply

April 26 2011, 8:15 AM

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there won't be drought. Down in Baca County, Colorado farmers should be up to their knees in wheat, and their corn should be planted. But in most cases, neither is happening. The state's most southeastern county is already feeling this year's water dearth, and it's worse than most, say locals old enough to recall the Dirty Thirties. Colorado cattle are also at risk, and recent fires had the community praying for rain—and lots of it—on Easter Sunday (Pueblo Chieftain).

Is this a glimpse of what's to come for residents, urban and rural alike, across the West? U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cited a new report yesterday, warning of the long-term effects climate change is projected to have on our water, the West's "lifeblood" (Associated Press).

The outlook for the Mile High City is equally dire, although some are hailing a new agreement between Denver Water and the Western Slope as a "peace pact" that will benefit the Front Range, particularly Denver's southern suburbs (Independent and Denver Post). The situation isn't so buoyant on the northern Front Range, where an Army Corps of Engineers report is inflaming an already volatile debate over damming the Cache la Poudre River (Post and Greeley Tribune).