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Judy Fahys

InsideClimate News

Climate change ravaged Colorado and the West with heat and drought in 2020. This year may be worse.

Coloradans also can look out their windows and see the “snow drought” forecasters are talking about when they say snow cover in the West is the worst it has been at any time in the last two decades.

Environment
Blue Mesa is Colorado’s 2nd largest reservoir was formed by Blue Mesa Dam, is a 390-foot-tall earthen fill dam across the Gunnison River near Gunnison, Colorado, completed in 1966 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Colorado River Storage Project. The Colorado River Storage Project was created to manage the Colorado River, provide water storage, flood control and create hydroelectric power. Blue Mesa Reservoir is approximately 30 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline and spreads over 14 square miles in area. The reservoir can hold 940,700 acre feet of water. The Gunnison River is the Colorado River's 5th largest tributary. Ice fishermen standing on the ice of Blue Mesa Reservoir beneath the Dillon Pinnacles give a sense of scale to Blue Mesa reservoir near Gunnison, Colorado on January 22, 2021. Normally the landscape around Blue Mesa is buried under deep snow. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the statewide snowpack is currently at 73 percent of normal and the Gunnison Basin is at 50-70% of normal. Such low amounts of snow may create drought conditions. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

In Colorado, where climate change is front and center, John Hickenlooper is favored to unseat Cory Gardner

The GOP incumbent is linked to Trump, while the moderate, pro-fracking former governor is called “Frackenlooper” by progressives.

Environment