IS 96 - Proceedings, Colorado Drought Conference.  December 2002. 

Colorado is in the midst of a particularly dry period in its history.  The flows of 2002, in many parts of the state, are the lowest on record.  These record low flows follow two below normal water years.  Colorado has not had to cope with a multi-year drought of this magnitude for almost 50 years. During this time, considerable shifts have taken place in Colorados economic base as well as in its corresponding use of water. Drought is a difficult term to define, particularly when the wide range of water shortage ramifications, to both human and natural systems, is considered. As a result, it is difficult to develop an in-depth discussion of drought .  With that as a qualifier, this drought conference narrows its focus to the efforts, and related lessons learned, of our water management system in providing water during the drought of 2002.  At this time (December 4, 2002), there is great uncertainty about the water supply of 2003 and beyond.  The purpose of this conference is to focus on the thinking, actions and plans of Colorado s professional water managers as they attempt to guide Colorado through the uncertainties of the current drought.  The published proceedings of the conference, it is hoped, capture the uncertainties, challenges, critical decisions, options, and immediate, as well as long-term, plans of Colorado s water managers.  It is hoped that by preserving the thoughts and coping strategies of water managers, at the height of uncertainty, future citizens and water managers will better understand the need to constantly prepare for drought in a semi-arid climate.