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Colorado drought gets worse, especially in state’s southwest corner

About 32 percent of the state is in extreme drought

The boat dock in the community of Heeney sits on dry land due to low water levels at Green Mountain Reservoir on Sept. 9, 2018. The reservoir, which backstops Western Slope water supplies during drought years, was only 55 percent full. (John Ingold, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado’s drought is getting worse, with unusually dry conditions across more than 85 percent of the state.

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report released Thursday shows conditions are worst in the southwest corner of the state, where all or parts of about 20 counties are listed in an exceptional drought, the worst of four categories.

The Drought Monitor’s map shows more than 16 percent of the state is in exceptional drought, up from 13 percent a week earlier and 9 percent three months ago.

U.S. Drought Monitor map. (Provided photo)

About 32 percent of the state is in the next-worst category, extreme drought.

Severely dry conditions extend across the Southwestern U.S. Parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah are also classified as being under exceptional drought.

Rising Sun

The Colorado Sun has been extensively covering water and drought in the Centennial State. Check out some of our stories on the topics below:

Amid drought, a changing climate and population growth, can Colorado’s unique water law system survive?

Three years after the Gold King Mine spill there’s no fix to leaky abandoned mines. What’s the holdup?

— Colorado’s hot summer of dry ditches and empty reservoirs has left distressed farmers sweating: Will it get worse?

Colorado fish are catching the brunt of continuing drought, wildfire runoff