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Headwaters magazineRead feature articles on the 2002 drought below or view the magazine online by flipping through or downloading the issue.

2003 Legislative Update

The Colorado General Assembly opened its 2003 Session in the fourth year of a record drought. This session produced a variety of significant changes to Colorado water law — adding new laws and increasing the law's flexibility. Major legal changes involved:

Read more: 2003 Legislative Update

How Drought Shapes Colorado Water Law and Policy

By Justice Greg Hobbs, Jr.

As tree-ring and archeological evidence shows, extended droughts are frequent visitors to the Rocky Mountain region. In the short term, Coloradans are confronted with withered crops and dry stream channels. Yet in the long term, drought's lasting legacy is written in the history of Colorado's water laws and institutions.

Read more: How Drought Shapes Colorado Water Law and Policy

Making It Through Hard Times

By Dan MacArthur

In a good year, you can stand on the bridge just north of the town of Meeker and watch the clear cold waters of the White River gurgle downstream. Originating in the pristine high country of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, the river flows through the White River National Forest and meanders through Meeker as it makes its way west into Utah. Like many small Colorado communities, this close-knit town of 2,600 relies heavily on agriculture and recreation to support its rural economy. White River flows provide the irrigation diversions and high-quality fisheries to keep the community thriving.

Read more: Making It Through Hard Times

Drought 2002

Roger A. Pielke, Sr., State Climatologist, Colorado Climate Center
Reagan Waskom, Extension Water Resource Specialist, Colorado State University

The year 2002 was dry. The hot, cloudless summer of 2002 surprised many Coloradans with its relentless intensity — impacting all our lives to some degree. The three dry years preceding it had worried some, but passed unnoticed by many. Yet when our snowpack evaporated in May, reservoirs turned into dust bowls, and fires roared across the state, people started to wonder: could it get any worse?

Read more: Drought 2002

Ground Water Atlas of Colorado

Upon initial approach the Ground Water Atlas of Colorado appears to need its own easel, like the giant dictionary at the library. Leafing through the oversized pages, the reader is in for a nice surprise. Full-color photos and attractive maps make this atlas easy to follow.

Read more: Ground Water Atlas of Colorado

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