The high cost of climate change is already straining the budgets of Colorado towns – Vail Daily News

The Grizzly Creek fire still is smoldering, but Glenwood Springs is already contemplating the challenges it will leave behind: severe damage to the forest drainages the Western Slope city depends upon for its drinking water.

“We are concerned about a lot of mud and ash coming down the creek,” said  Shelly Kaup, the city’s mayor pro tem. Sensors have been placed upstream to alert Glenwood when debris-laden water is headed toward the municipal intake pipes so they can be shut.

Plans are also already underway to buttress the city’s water system at a cost of $2.5 million to $4 million.

Carbondale’s Director of Public Works Kevin Schorzman checks the outgoing drinking water tank the Nettle Creek Water Treatment Plant on Oct. 23,. (Hugh Carey, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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Communities across Colorado are facing similar problems linked to a changing climate, from forest fires to drought. They are also already spending money on solutions to address them.

It cost Summit County nearly $88,000 to dig out from under historic avalanches in 2019 and in Carbondale the year before, low stream flows imperiled the town’s water supply spurring a $600,000 water system upgrade. 

Read more from Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun.

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