This was originally included in Currents,  the monthly newsletter by Wright Water Engineers, Inc. It is shared with permission.

The State of Colorado has published an online story map showing the economic impacts of flood, drought, and wildfire in 2050. The interactive platform shows how climate change and population growth will challenge Colorado’s economy 30 years into the future.

Researchers expect floods to increase in severity, droughts to deepen and become more spatially expansive, and wildfire seasons to become longer with more acres burned in a warming climate. These problems will be exacerbated by Colorado’s growing population, which is projected to reach between 7.7 and 9.3 million by 2050.

“With more residents comes greater natural hazard exposure if floodplain margins become developed, agricultural land shrinks, and the number of people in the wildland urban interface increases.”