Snow--like in this photo taken exactly one year ago today. That single snow storm produced enough moisture to reverse the 3-year drought cycle in Colorado. Today-- one year later--we are in the middle of an entire week of 70-degree days being bombarded by predictions of a continuing water crisis.
Last Wednesday Bob and I attended a noon-time lecture at the DMNS (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) by Bob Raynolds, our favorite geology instructor. The lecture was stimulating and instructive; the news he presented was not: For at least 5 years he and several others in the DMNS Geology Department have been studying water levels in the Denver Basin. He presented data and slides that indicated several areas around Denver, most notably in Douglas County, that are now drawing water from a non-renewable aquifer that is reducing its water supply by 30 feet per year (approximately 1 inch per day) resulting in a prediction that this water supply will have been exhausted in between 10 and 20 years depending on how many new water taps are added in the next few years. Even in areas with renewable sources of water, most depend on mountain snowmelt to recharge reservoirs and that is not happening quickly enough to stave off drought. On these unseasonable 70-degree days the little snowpack that we have is being depleted by sublimation as the moisture evaporates rather than soaking into the ground or melting into rivers and streams which feed our reservoirs.
As much as I love the warm sunny days, I'd enjoy them much more if we could have a good spring snow or a five-day rainy spell. Our high desert climate can only sustain so much growth and most experts agree that we are currently on the edge of a statewide water crisis.
Well, there is nothing I can do about it today so I'm going to have a tall glass of water, go walking in the sunshine and hope for desperately needed moisture.