Governor Polis Activates Next Phase of Colorado Drought Plan, Prepares for Continued Severe Conditions into 2021

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As severe drought conditions have persisted across 100% of Colorado for over 15 weeks, Governor Jared Polis directed a shift from Phase 2 to Phase 3 (full activation) of the State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan. 

This includes convening the Municipal Water Impact Task Force, chaired by staff from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and Department of Local Affairs, with the objective of coordinating with water providers to prepare for anticipated drought-related challenges well into 2021.

“Now with three drought task forces activated going into the winter season, the state will have time to coordinate with agriculture, municipal, and other sectors across the state to develop a plan for mitigation of drought-related impacts starting in spring of 2021,” said CWCB Director Rebecca Mitchell. “Climate outlooks for 2021 indicate that drought conditions are likely to continue into the next year, so it is important that we are proactively thinking about mitigation and that we remain hopeful for strong winter snowpack statewide.”

The Municipal Water Task Force will join the Drought Task Force and the Agricultural Impact Task Force, which were activated in June. Drought condition summaries are released monthly from water and climate specialists on the Water Availability Task Force.

Colorado Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources are seeking public input about drought impacts in communities across the state. Submit personal and local accounts of drought, including agricultural impacts, on the Virtual Drought Tour platform.

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