GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – Local water providers say the current drought is one of the worst in Colorado history.
Mesa County ranges from extreme drought to exceptional drought in areas and it doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon. Below average spring runoff is anticipated by local water providers as watersheds are working to be replenished after last year’s drought.
There are additional concerns for the Drought Response Information Project, which were addressed in a morning press conference on Wednesday. The wildfires in the Colorado River basin last summer have scarred significant portions of the Colorado River which may result in debris, ash, and dense mud flowing into the Colorado River watershed, which will impact water quality for many water entities in Mesa County. Epidemics of the ips beetle and the ash bark beetle have become evident in Mesa County due to their attraction to drought stressed plants. Fruit crops and hay crops are also expected to be impacted by drought conditions.