April 2, 2015--The potential impact of California's drought on Colo. (9 News)

New numbers out Thursday show Colorado's statewide snowpack has fallen. Preliminary estimates from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service show the state's snowpack is at 69 percent of average. The state's climatologist said Colorado will need to have a strong finish to the spring snow season in order to even approach our average snowpack. Much of Colorado's water supply comes from our snowpack and it feeds into rivers that also provide water to other states. One of those is California, which is experiencing a historic drought and is now under order by their governor to cut back on water consumption. "It's very likely the single worst drought of the last 150 years and possibly approaching the worst drought in the last 500 to 1000 years," Benjamin Cook of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies told NBC News. For more than half-a-century, California has been the top agricultural state in the country, producing nearly half of the nation's nuts fruits and vegetables. It is a title now potentially in peril as it grapples with a drought of historic proportions, covering 90 percent of the state. The food grown in California is sold across the U.S., including here in Colorado. "Down the road, if agriculture water use in California is restricted, then definitely, we'd see increasing prices in fruits and vegetables and nuts," said Tom Cech, director of Metro State University's One World, One Water Center. There are other ways California's water woes could potentially reach beyond its borders. Some of California's water comes from the Colorado River: about 4.4 million acre feet per year. That's enough water to cover more than four million football fields with one foot of water.

"The Colorado River is interesting because it starts in the headwaters of our state and ends up in the Gulf of California," Cech said. An interstate agreement put together in the 1920s allocates the Colorado River's water not just for Colorado, but also for a half-dozen states, including California. "That compact in the 20s was to protect future generations," Cech said. More and more people are moving into Colorado and other western states. Combined with an arid environment, those two factors are creating pressure on the need to conserve water. "It's really important that our state, from the governor down to the local person living in downtown Denver, is aware to our water situation, starts to prepare for drought and for our future growth. We don't want to be faced with a situation like California is," Cech said. To view the full article visit 9 News.