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

  • Stories
  • Multimedia library
  • For Journalists
  • Resources
  • About us

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

Water Desk news and announcements

Column: defining our scope and water journalism

The Water Desk is a new independent journalism initiative. We're starting up at a pivotal moment for both the news industry and water sector.

Building a network for water journalism

The Water Desk is building a collaborative network of media outlets that cross-publish content related to Western water issues. Colorado River flows...

Aspen joins water managers using new technologies to map mountain snowpack, predict streamflows

As a changing climate renders streamflow predictions less accurate, water managers are turning to new technologies for a clearer picture of what’s happening in their basin’s snowpack.

A feverish stream, a legion of volunteers, a $1.7 million grant. Is it enough...

Could something as simple and natural as a ragged corridor of expansive, towering shade trees help the Yampa River arm itself against climate change?

Decades later, abandoned mines continue to haunt Colorado’s waterways

According to a 2017 study, there are over 23,000 abandoned mines across Colorado and 1,800 miles of streams that are impaired due to pollutants related to acid mine drainage.

Some Western cities offer residents “cash for grass” to reduce irrigation

A study in 2016 showed that lawns are the largest irrigated crop in America.

Does cloud seeding work? Scientists watch ice crystals grow inside clouds to find out

Cloud seeding occurs in more than 50 countries, but we still don’t know whether it works.

Data viz: surveying Colorado River Basin maps

This collection of Colorado River Basin maps includes public domain images and other cartographic resources for depicting the watershed.

Follow Us

114FansLike
173FollowersFollow
568FollowersFollow

The Water Desk on Instagram

Multimedia and resources for journalists

Latest multimedia content

This content is free to use and repost by media organizations and others under a Creative Commons license.

See more »

Resources

We’ve collected a series of resources that help explain the complex and sometimes contentious world of water issues.

See more »

Background readings on Western water

Here are some helpful online resources for learning more about the Colorado River Basin and Western water issues.

Glossaries

It’s hard to understand water issues unless you know the lingo. Here are some helpful water-related glossaries on the web:

Water books

Want to go deep and really learn about water issues? Here's a list of great nonfiction books...

Media and journalism

On this page you'll find a guide to water media, a Twitter list for Western water and examples of great water journalism.
The Water Desk’s mission is to increase the volume, depth and power of journalism connected to Western water issues. We're an initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Water Desk launched in April 2019 with support from the Walton Family Foundation. We maintain a strict editorial firewall between our funders and our journalism. The Water Desk is seeking additional funding to build and sustain the initiative.