Eighty percent of Colorado is experiencing some form of drought or dryness. That means dry river basins, hungry wildfires and parched farmland across the state. Some have already started comparing conditions to the 2002 drought.
It’s also prompting a closer look by historians into how communities have survived and triumphed over water scarcity – instead of the old Western yarn that “water is for fighting.”
Back in 1999, some of Colorado’s most powerful politicians stood on top of the windswept sandy hills of what would soon become Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. It was an attempt to conserve not only the land but also an underground aquifer and streams.
“I think the feeling was, ‘if we’re going to save this resource, the time is now. We’ve got to act,’” said Michael Geary, a historian who wrote Sea of Sand: A History of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Read the rest of the story at Colorado Public Radio.