Droughts Impact on Tourism

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) hosted a series of informational meetings in Southwest Colorado this Fall related to droughts impact on tourism. The project is entitled Drought Assessment for Recreation and Tourism or DART. The CWCB designed the program to fill gaps in the state’s drought impact data—which had been focused more on agriculture—and provide county-specific assessments. “This is the first time anyone has done an assessment like this in the U.S.,” said Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi, a CWCB official. She called the I-70 corridor a threshold region and said the area south of it needs more detailed drought impact analysis. “Anything below I-70 seems to be more susceptible to drought.” Honed in on the San Juan, San Miguel, and Dolores River watersheds, DART’s Southwest Colorado component will evaluate a region of the state where tourism is particularly prone to the effects of drought.