Drought Contingency Planning

The purpose of a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) is to help the District design and plan for resilience from the impacts of droughts with regard to sustainable management of water resources. The plan will help the District prepare for an reduce risk of water shortages and provide alternatives to build short- and long-term resilience to drought.

This planning process is funded through a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant with District and basin stakeholders matching funds and technical assistance. The process is anticipated to take up to two years, with a goal for completion by December 2024.

The District intends to work with local water users, municipalities, industry, educational institutions, agricultural producers, recreationalists, and environmental/conservation groups throughout the planning process. Additionally, the District will leverage this project with other on-going planning, monitoring and assessment efforts including municipal source water protection planning, identification of forest and wildlife zones of concern and critical infrastructure, watershed and stream management planning, community wildfire protection planning, land use code updates, and community drought conservation messaging.

The process is managed by Task Force that represents water user interests. The District expects significant opportunity for public input through stakeholder meetings and interviews, and a public comment period for the plan itself. 

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  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – Daniel Olson
  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – Jon Kaminsky
  • Coal Creek Watershed Coalition – Ashley Bembenek
  • National Park Service (NPS) – Brinnen Carter
  • Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District – Cheryl Cwelich
  • City of Gunnison – David Gardner
  • Ute Mountain Ute Pinecrest Ranch – David Stoner
  • U.S. Forest Service – Dayle Funka
  • Gunnison County Stockgrowers & CSU Extension – Hannah Cranor Kersting
  • Trout Unlimited – Jesse Kruthaupt
  • High Country Conservation Advocates – Jon Hare
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) – Lee Traynham
  • Crested Butte South Metro District – Ronnie Benson
  • Western Colorado University – Susan Washko
  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort – Tara Schoedinger
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – Whit Blair
  • Commercial Boaters – Dustin Brown
  • Wilson Water Group – Erin Wilson
  • Saguache County – Rebie Hazard
  • Town of Crested Butte – Shea Earley
  • U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) – Bryan Moore
  • Hinsdale County – John Coy
  • Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) – Brandon Diamond
  • Taylor Local Water Users Group – David Fisher
  • Gunnison County – Jonathan Houck
  • Town of Mt Crested Butte  – Shannon Hessler
  • Water/ Wastewater Treatment Plant – Mike Rogers
  • Gunnison County Emergency Management – Scott Morrill

July and August Meeting Cancelled

Task Force Meeting:

Wednesday, September 25th, 2024 at 9:00 a.m.

DCP Emerald Lake
DCP Yule Lakes

Upper Gunnison Drought Contingency Plan

November 2023
Develop Framework
Determine local responsibility for undertaking the actions necessary to implement the Plan.
November 2023
February 2024
Drought Monitoring
  • Establish a process for monitoring water availability and a framework for predicting the probability of future droughts or confirming an existing drought.
  • The collection, analysis, and dissemination of data to define stages of drought, mitigation, and response actions.
February 2024
April 2024
Vulnerability Assessment
Evaluate and assess the risks and impacts of drought and the contributing factors that could impact critical resources in the Plan area. This supports development of potential mitigation and response actions.
April 2024
TBD 2024
Mitigation Actions
Identify, evaluate, and prioritize actions and activities that will build long-term water supply resiliency and mitigate risks.
TBD 2024
TBA 2024
Response Actions
Identify, evaluate, and prioritize actions and activities that can be implemented in a drought and triggered during different stages of drought to provide quick benefits.
TBA 2024
Plan Update Process
Develop a process and schedule for monitoring, evaluating and updating the Plan.