An initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder

About The Water Desk

The Water Desk is an independent, nonprofit journalism initiative with three priorities:

  • Support for journalists: Funding and other resources for journalists and media outlets covering water issues, with a focus on the Colorado River Basin and Western North America
  • News and original content: Coverage of water issues and multimedia content produced by The Water Desk and members of its collaborative network
  • Education and engagement: Working with CU Boulder students and others beyond the campus to inform the public and policymakers

Stories and reports

Q&A: Defining the “snow deluge” and projecting its future

Scientist Adrienne Marshall explains why these extreme snow years are expected to decline in our warming world.

The Other Border Dispute Is Over an 80-Year-Old Water Treaty

With another hot summer looming, Mexico is behind on its water deliveries to the United States, leading to water cutbacks in South Texas. A little-known federal agency has hit a roadblock in its efforts to get Mexico to comply.

In Colorado, new scrutiny and possible fixes coming for drinking water in mobile home...

A new law gives the state authority to test water quality in mobile home parks and force owners to fix any issues. The testing program officially begins this summer, but state officials have gotten a head start at one community in Western Colorado that helped spur the legislation.

Latest multimedia content

Our multimedia content is available for free reuse by journalists and others under a Creative Commons license.

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We've produced and collected resources to help you learn more about Western water issues.

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Cases, agreements and treaties

The legal intricacies of Western water can be difficult to wade through. This timeline offers an introduction to some key cases, agreements and treaties....

Resources: Background readings

Browse our background reading resources. Colorado River Basin Helpful online resources for learning more about the Colorado River Basin. 1922 Colorado River Compact 1922 Colorado River Compact Meeting...


It’s hard to understand water issues unless you know the lingo. Here are some helpful water-related glossaries on the web: The U.S. Geological Survey's Dictionary...

Water books

Want to go deep and really learn about water issues? Here's a list of great nonfiction books on (Western) water issues, curated by Mitch...

Media and journalism

On this page you'll find a guide to water media and examples of great water journalism. Have a suggestion for a story or outlet...