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

Aerial of Lake Powell

Feds issue red flag warning on lakes Powell and Mead

Risk of severe water shortages in the seven-state Colorado River Basin have risen dramatically since April with new forecasts indicating that lakes Powell and Mead could hit crisis levels much sooner than previously expected.
Liza Mitchell, a natural resource planner and ecologist with Pitkin County, shows off the recent work on a restoration project at a fen on North Star Nature Preserve, on Aug. 26. This fiber mat is plugging an old ditch that drained water from the wetland to the Roaring Fork River.

Pitkin County launches project to restore ancient wetland at North Star Preserve near Aspen

A fen-restoration project aims to enhance the wetland’s ability to provide habitat, store and filter groundwater, and sequester carbon.

CD3 candidates agree on protecting Western Slope water, reservoir enlargements

Diane Mitsch Bush, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, pledged cooperation and Lauren Boebert, her Republican challenger, promised to fight — the Front Range, neighboring states and the federal government — to protect Western Slope water.
Yampa River at Hayden

Water released from Elkhead Reservoir lifts call on Yampa River

The second-ever call on the Yampa River was lifted after water providers announced an Elkhead Reservoir water release to support irrigators and endangered fish.
Castle Creek in Aspen

Aspen officials want more data to plan for drought, seeking $59k for more tools

The city of Aspen is hoping some grant money can help it collect more data on snow and streams in the high country so it can better predict and plan for droughts.
Old cottonwoods line the banks and trails of the historic Denver Highline Canal

Denver’s High Line Canal a study in using something old to solve new problem

Infrastructure built more than a century ago still endures, but some of Colorado’s old irrigation ditches have been repurposed to meet the moment. The High Line Canal—a 71-mile-long former irrigation conveyance turned greenway and stormwater filtration tool—winds its way through the Denver metro area as an artery of infrastructure boasting a story of adaptation.
Low water levels Aug. 18 at Dillon Reservoir expose sand rings around the lake's islands.

Dillon Reservoir water levels hold on despite statewide drought

Amid one of the hottest summers on record for Colorado, Dillon Reservoir is 94% full, nearly 5 feet below its capacity. This level of drought has been manageable this year for Denver Water partly because of the 2018-19 winter.
Casinos shuttered in Central City, Colorado

Sports betting revenue finally flowing; new ad campaign reminds voters it’s all about water

If you’ve watched TV in Colorado lately, chances are you’ve been bombarded with commercials for various sports betting platforms. Now, as you surf the internet, you might also see ads connecting the state’s newly legalized sports betting industry with funding for Colorado water projects.
The Roller Dam on the Colorado River west of Glenwood Springs.

State to host public confabs on next steps in study of Lake Powell drought...

A statewide public effort to determine whether Coloradans should engage in perhaps the biggest water conservation program in state history enters its second year of study this summer, but the complex, collaborative effort on the Colorado River has a long way to go before the state and its water users can make a go/no-go decision, officials said.

Water, money, and power in Colorado – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 3 – Heather Sackett

Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin talks to Heather Sackett, managing editor at Aspen Journalism, about water issues in Colorado, including several stories that explore the potential transfer of water from rural areas to growing cities.