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

The Colorado River delta in Baja California is a mosaic of old river channels, tidal salt flats, and runoff from agricultural fields to the north. PHOTO BY TED WOOD

Crisis on the Colorado Part V: Bringing New Life to a Stressed River

The Colorado River has been dammed, diverted, and slowed by reservoirs, strangling the life out of a once-thriving ecosystem. But in the U.S. and Mexico, efforts are underway to revive sections of the river and restore vital riparian habitat for native plants, fish, and wildlife.

A dry subject: how scientists map drought conditions

Scientists have a variety of measures of drought, but some are starting to use the term "aridification" to describe the long-term drying of the Southwest.

Praying for rain

The Zuni tribe's homeland is one of the most parched sections of the country. The tribe has already declared three drought emergencies in the last 15 years. Will it survive the next one?

Questions simmer about Lake Powell’s future as drought, climate change point to a drier...

Lake Powell faces demands from stakeholders with different water needs as runoff is forecast to decline due to warmer, drier conditions.

Crisis on the Colorado Part I: The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits– Will...

As the Southwest faces rapid growth and unrelenting drought, the Colorado River is in crisis, with too many demands on its diminishing flow. Now those who depend on the river must confront the hard reality that their supply of Colorado water may be cut off.

Thirsty future for American West, as “megadrought” grips some of the fastest-growing U.S. cities

By Alexandra Tempus, Fair Warning In 2002, Utah was reeling from four years of dry conditions that turned the state “into a parched tinderbox,’’ as the Associated Press reported at...
A canal diverts water from the Colorado River to farms in Palisade, Colorado. TED WOOD

Crisis on the Colorado Part III: Running Dry– New Strategies for Conserving Water

Communities along the Colorado River are facing a new era of drought and water shortages that is threatening their future. With an official water emergency declaration now possible, farmers, ranchers, and towns are searching for ways to use less water and survive.

Cloud seeding study validates ski industry staple

Cloud seeding disperses dust-sized silver iodide particles into clouds so that ice crystals can form on those particles and fall to the ground as snow.

Crisis on the Colorado Part IV: In Era of Drought, Phoenix Prepares for a...

Once criticized for being a profligate user of water, fast-growing Phoenix has taken some major steps — including banking water in underground reservoirs, slashing per-capita use, and recycling wastewater — in anticipation of the day when the flow from the Colorado River ends.

Arizona’s water supplies are drying up. How will its farmers survive?

By Stephen R. Miller, Food and Water Reporting Project Photography by Bill Hatcher You could almost visit Arizona without noticing it was a farming state. If you flew into Phoenix in an aisle seat,...