Drought is one of the natural hazards that affects all Delta County residents and residents across Colorado. The Delta County Multi-Hazard Mitigation plan identifies Drought as a natural hazard that Delta County must prepare for. The best way to mitigate drought is to prepare for it before we are in a severe drought and to conserve water. You should make conserving water a part of your daily life.
What is Drought?
The National Weather Service defines four types of drought:
- Meteorological Drought is based on the degree of dryness or rainfall deficit and the length of the dry period.
- Hydrological Drought is based on the impact of rainfall deficits on the water supply such as stream flow, reservoir and lake levels, and ground water table decline.
- Agricultural Drought refers to the impacts on agriculture by factors such as rainfall deficits, soil water deficits, reduced groundwater, or reservoir levels needed for irrigation.
- Socioeconomic Drought considers the impact of drought conditions (meteorological, agricultural, or hydrological drought) on supply and demand of some economic goods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and meat. Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related deficit in water supply.
What Can I do to Conserve Water and Combat Drought in Delta County?
- Check plumbing for leaks and repair any leaks found.
- When replacing appliances in your home, select ones that are energy and water efficient.
- Replace toilets, shower heads, faucets etc with low-flow versions.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Run the washer less frequently and only when you have a full load of laundry.
- Water your lawn less frequently and during the cooler parts of the day (early morning or late evening) and consider using zero scaping and drought tolerant plants.
- Follow local water restrictions!
Practice fire prevention:
- Don’t smoke in dry vegetation and discard of cigarette butts in proper receptacles
- Exercise extreme caution around campfires and backyard fire pits. Follow fire restrictions and burn regulations and always ensure a fire is dead out and cold to the touch before leaving it unattended.
Online Drought Resources
Below are some drought resources that Delta County residents can utilize to conserve water and prepare their property to be resilient to drought which can help in reducing the fire danger around your home.
DRIP (Drought Response Information Project) - Western Colorado Drought Information & Conservation Resources
American Red Cross Drought Preparedness & Water Conservation Tips
National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) - Drought.gov
Colorado Climate Center
Colorado State University Extension:
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Drought Resources
Ready.gov drought web page
United States Drought Monitor
Colorado Drought Monitor
Colorado Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security drought web page
Colorado Water Conservation Board:
Stream Flows and Snow Pack Resources
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Colorado Basin SNOTEL Graphs
USGS Water Watch - Stream Flow Measurements | Colorado
Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (NOAA)
USDA NRCS Snow Survey & Water Supply Data
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service for Flooding