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

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Video story: When in drought, call the beavers

Beaver reintroduction and restoration can help with some of the West's most profound water problems, both in terms of quantity and quality. A trial program is underway at Caribou Ranch in Boulder County.

The value of water

With population growth around Denver prompting fierce competition for water, investors want to import a new supply from the San Luis Valley, but many farmers and ranchers who depend...

Cooling the river

As climate change brings warmer weather, Westerners are looking for ways to protect the region's rivers and streams. In a special report for The Water Desk, Jerd Smith of...

As the Salton Sea shrinks, it leaves behind a toxic reminder of the cost...

Scientists fear that eventually the toxic residue of more than a century of agricultural runoff will be blown into the air — and into the lungs of residents.

Video story: Cooling the Yampa river (full length)

As climate change brings warmer weather, Westerners are looking for ways to protect the region’s rivers and streams. In a special report for the Water Desk, Jerd Smith of Fresh Water News explains a strategy for safeguarding Colorado’s Yampa River.

Small farmers wait for California’s groundwater hammer to fall

Farmers, large and small, are beginning to grapple with what the state’s first major groundwater regulation means for them.
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Can a grand vision or incremental change solve the Colorado River's challenges?

With talks looming on a new operating agreement for the river, a debate has emerged over the best approach to address its challenges.

Northwest Colorado ranchers grapple with state requirements to measure, record water use

Irrigators in Northwest Colorado are facing a sea change in how they use their water, and many ranchers are greeting such a shift with reluctance and suspicion.

Anger and disappointment as Yampa River ranchers ordered to measure water

Hundreds of ranchers in the Yampa Valley have ignored a state request to begin measuring the water they use, putting them on a collision course with regulators if they don’t relent.
The Colorado River delta in Baja California is a mosaic of old river channels, tidal salt flats, and runoff from agricultural fields to the north. PHOTO BY TED WOOD

Crisis on the Colorado Part V: Bringing New Life to a Stressed River

The Colorado River has been dammed, diverted, and slowed by reservoirs, strangling the life out of a once-thriving ecosystem. But in the U.S. and Mexico, efforts are underway to revive sections of the river and restore vital riparian habitat for native plants, fish, and wildlife.