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

Welcome to The Water Desk

The Water Desk is starting up at a pivotal moment for both journalism and water, not only in our home region but also around the world.

Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a...

The Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River is a historic agreement but it has some serious shortcomings.

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 Tobin, director of The Water...

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 suggestion for a story or...
The Colorado River, near Radium, Colorado. Photo by Mitch Tobin

Videos and photos: Colorado River drone flight, August 2019

This page features drone-captured footage and photos of the Colorado River, near Radium, Colorado. The imagery shows the Colorado River after it emerges from Gore Canyon, a popular whitewater rafting...
Colorado River drone photo near Radium, Colorado. Photo by Mitch Tobin

Photos

Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West

Ifclimate change continues relatively unabated, consecutive years with snow drought conditions will become much more common, with impacts on cities, agriculture, forests, wildlife and winter sports.
precipitation map ecowest

Map: monthly average precipitation

This map shows total rain and snowfall in the contiguous United States, every month from 1981 to the present. The map's color scale runs from white (no precipitation), to blue (significant precipitation) to red (intense...
us drought monitor ecowest dashboard

Map: weekly drought reports

This map depicts data from the National Drought Mitigation Center. Drought intensity categories are based on numerous indicators and local reports from more than 350 expert observers around the...

At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint’s

Is your community’s water tainted with lead? The data might not have been reported.