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

Why atmospheric rivers can be both harmful and helpful

These "rivers in the sky" can cause catastrophic flooding but are also critical for the West's snowpack

What is an atmospheric river? A hydrologist explains the good and bad of these flood-prone storms...

On average, atmospheric rivers have about twice the regular flow of the Amazon River.

Helpful sites for tracking snow and the (subpar) snowpack

There’s no shortage of websites with maps and graphics visualizing snow forecasts and the state of the snowpack.

Water Desk supports journalism in New Mexico and Rio Grande Basin

The Water Desk is excited to announce the recipients of new grants to support water journalism connected to New Mexico and the Rio Grande Basin.

Water Desk offers support for coverage of New Mexico and Rio Grande water issues

The Water Desk is offering support to journalists and media outlets covering water issues related to New Mexico and the Rio Grande Basin.

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Latest multimedia content

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

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Resources

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

Glossaries

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, a Twitter list for Western water and examples of great water journalism. Have a...