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

The Colorado River drought crisis: 5 essential reads

Five articles from The Conversation’s archive explain what’s happening and what’s at stake in the Colorado River basin’s drought crisis.

Is the Western drought finally ending? That depends on where you look

Even a deep snowpack in the West likely won't be enough to end the drought.

Long-distance water

There’s desperation in the desert – for communities that could run out of water if the Colorado River keeps shrinking from overuse and climate change. Many are now looking...

Human actions created the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake – here’s how to save...

Irrigation practices that maintained the Salton Sea have been reduced, and excess water is being transferred to coastal cities instead.

What is a flash drought? An earth scientist explains

Extreme dry spells, also known as flash droughts, are becoming a big concern for farmers and water utilities.

Farms use 80% of the West’s water. Some in Colorado use less, a lot...

A greenhouse in Colorado is using 95 percent less water to grow food compared to traditional agricultural practices.
San Diego has shored up its water supplies by upgrading the All-American Canal, which takes Colorado River water to California's Imperial Valley. TED WOOD

A quiet revolution: Southwest cities learn to thrive amid drought

Southwestern U.S. cities have embraced innovative strategies for conserving and sourcing water in a changing climate.

Once a rich desert river, the Gila struggles to keep flowing

Population growth, agricultural withdrawals and climate change have badly diminished the river and threaten its future.

Special Report: Colorado, New Mexico struggle to save the blistered Rio Grande, with lessons...

Cities in New Mexico and Colorado are juggling water scarcity concerns over the Rio Grande.
Grasslands photo

Grim 2022 drought outlook for Western US offers warnings for the future as climate...

A rapidly warming climate has put the American West in a brutal drought with a hotter and thirstier atmosphere.