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

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.

How a high-elevation irrigation study in Kremmling could help Colorado avoid future water shortages

A group of ranchers is helping scientists learn more about what happens to pastures that receive less irrigation water.

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.

Report: Colorado’s farm water use exceeds national average, despite efforts to conserve

Farm water is critical to Colorado’s effort to balance a growing population with a water system stressed by drought and climate change.

Western Colorado water purchases stir up worries about the future of farming

Part of a series by Aspen Journalism, KUNC, KJZZ and The Nevada Independent exploring how investors are banking on the West’s water scarcity.

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.

California’s dream has turned into water nightmares

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

As pressure to regulate Yampa River continues, locals raise cash to aid compliance effort

Nearly one year after the state ordered Yampa River water users to begin measuring their diversions from the iconic river, local community groups have raised more than $200,000 to help cash-strapped ranchers and others install the devices needed to comply with the law.
Grand County rancher collects hay samples

These hay fields may know something we don’t: how to save the Colorado River

A $1 million science experiment on Colorado hay fields is backed by powerful water groups, farm interests, and environmentalists.

State demand-management investigation moves ahead

Water managers and experts from across Colorado are investigating the feasibility of a voluntary, temporary and compensated water-use-reduction program.