Title Colorado Resort Communities and the 2002-2003 Drought: Impacts and Lessons Learned
Type Research Project
Abstract The 2002 drought event presented an opportunity to address unique problems that resort communities experience during a drought, in particular, the complex interplay between environmental sustainability, economic vitality, and social perceptions. The 2002 drought also provided an opportunity for communities, government officials, and resort managers to assess their level of preparedness for extended periods of dryness. With the goal of understanding the impacts of and vulnerabilities to the drought hazard in Colorado resort communities, a Quick Response Project was carried out between June and September 2003. Interviews were conducted across Colorado to investigate different types of drought impacts the communities experienced and identify the lessons learned from this drought event. The results of the project are summarized in the Quick Response Research Report. A book chapter and a journal article are now in preparation.
Participants Olga Wilhelmi
Deborah S.K. Thomas (University of Colorado-Denver)
Michael Hayes (National Drought Mitigation Center)
Start Date 2003
Funders National Science Foundation
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center.
Keywords drought
resort communities
Research Themes Vulnerability, Adaptation, Thresholds and Resilience
Integrated Science and Regional Applications


"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)