Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan - 2013

Statewide drought planning for Colorado has been developed through the preparation and implementation of the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan (DMRP). This plan was prepared by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, a division of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In 2010, the DMRP went through a comprehensive revision. The 2013 updated plan outlines a mechanism for coordinated drought monitoring, impact assessment, response to emergency drought problems, and mitigation of long term drought impacts. The plan was developed to provide an effective and systematic means for Colorado to reduce the impacts of water shortages over short- or long-term adaptation planning horizons.

There are three major components of the plan: Mitigation, Response, and a Vulnerability Assessment. Included is a description of the process used to prepare the plan and a profile of the drought hazard in Colorado, including the nature of impacts and probability of occurrence. A detailed vulnerability assessment discusses the past and potential impacts to Colorado‘s economy, environment, state assets, and water providers. A capability assessment describes the State‘s plans, policies, and procedures in place that already help manage and reduce drought impacts. The plan describes funding sources that can be used to implement local mitigation projects and plans. An Annex on 'Response' offers State and partner agency guidance for response actions during times of drought. Also, a description of the process for implementation, and monitoring is included.

Climate change is addressed in the 'Drought Implications for Colorado' section. An Annex to the plan contains a more detailed analysis of possible implications of climate change for drought in Colorado, as well as the findings of the Colorado River Water Availability Study. This study investigated water availability on the Colorado River under a range of climate change scenarios. For this project the results from the study were used to analyze drought duration and the likelihood of experiencing droughts in the future that are longer than the longest drought observed throughout the 56 year period of record.


Publication Date: September 2013

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Resource Types:

  • Agency guidance/policy
  • Plans (other)
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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