Colorado is in its worst drought since 2002 when huge wildfires engulfed the state, according to reports summarized Thursday by the Drovers Cattle Network.
Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed a water conservation bill into law because 98 percent of the state is experiencing some level of drought conditions, the network reported.
Temperatures have been as much as 6-10 degrees hotter than normal fom more than a month in many places, particularly eastern Colorado, the manager of the Colorado Water Conservation Board Office of Water Conservation and Drought Planning said May 17.
Snowpack is 7 percent of normal, which means low stream-flows. More than half the state has officially been proclaimed in drought, said a Denver CBS television station.
An estimated 4 million acres of trees have been killed by beetles, which many view as a natural cycle, but the deadwood creates highly flammable fuel for wildfires.
State Sen. Gail Schwartz has proposed a $60 million water bill to fund 14 projects, including building two new reservoirs, mitigating dead timber in watersheds, and satellite monitoring of rivers and streams to track how much water is flowing in any given area at any given time.