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

California’s dream has turned into water nightmares

A new book looks at the Golden State’s history to understand its current water crisis.

Video story: California’s vanishing lake (full length)

Water conservation in California’s southern desert is causing an environmental disaster as the Salton Sea quickly shrinks.

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.

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.
Matilija Reservoir has filled with sediment, allowing grasses to grow on its surface. | Photo: Paul Jenkin (August 2019)

The dam nobody wants just won’t go away

Dams can stop the natural flow of sand and silt to the sea—resulting in coastal wetland loss and disappearing beaches—as well as preventing fish from reaching vital spawning grounds.

As wildfires grow more intense, California water managers are learning to rewrite their emergency...

Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers