Colorado water users prepare for more drought

Friday, April 5, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Steven K. Paulson
April 03, 2013

DENVER (AP) — Back-to-back, drought-plagued winters have prompted Colorado water users and providers to prepare for another dry year.

Xcel Energy Inc. is relaxing some of its water rights on the Colorado River to help Denver Water meet the needs of people on the Front Range and Western Slope.

On May 1, Denver Water and Colorado Parks and Wildlife will close Antero Reservoir in southeastern Colorado then drain it to save water during the ongoing drought.

Officials in Pueblo say Lake Minnequa is continuing to shrink. The lakebed is drying up, and a plan to use a pipeline to bring fresh water into the lake this summer offers little hope of filling it up.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows all of Colorado is experiencing some level of drought this year. A large portion of southeastern Colorado is seeing exceptional drought — the most extreme condition on the U.S. Drought Monitor’s five-level scale.

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