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

This photo from December 2021 shows one of the intake towers at Hoover Dam. Federal officials said basin states must conserve 2 to 4 million acre-feet to protect reservoir levels in 2023. CREDIT: HEATHER SACKETT/ASPEN JOURNALISM

Race is on for Colorado River basin states to conserve before feds take action

Seven states in the West have been given until August 15th to implement new strategies and tools to conserve the Colorado River.

Scientists in the East River watershed collect ‘mountains of data’ to understand water in...

In a first-of-its-kind project, scientists will trace snow from where it arrives in the atmosphere, to where it melts into the ground. 
The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in the Grand Canyon, shown here in a September 2020 aerial photo from Ecoflight, represents an area where the humpback chub has rebounded in the last decade. That progress is now threatened by declining water levels in Lake Powell, which could lead to non-native smallmouth bass becoming established in the canyon. CREDIT: JANE PARGITER/ECOFLIGHT

Declining levels at Lake Powell increase risk to humpback chub downstream

Low levels and warming waters threaten to increase invasive species in the Colorado River.
pot that was used to hold water by the Anasazi People photo

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe faces another devastating drought year, but recent rain, wheat prices...

Low snowpack and high temperatures have plagued water supplies in southwest Colorado, but high wheat prices bring hope to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.
Hoover Dam photo

Hydropower’s future is clouded by droughts, floods and climate change – it’s also essential...

As competition for water increases, the way hydropower is managed within regions and across the power grid in the U.S. will have to evolve.
The Roaring Fork River seen here on May 24 near the Catherine Store Bridge in Carbondale. Downstream at Glenwood Springs, the river peaked for the season on May 20, early and outside the window of what’s considered normal. CREDIT: HEATHER SACKETT/ASPEN JOURNALISM

Early peak runoff for Western Slope rivers

Snowpack in Colorado is melting earlier than expected due to an increase in dust storm severity.
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.
Paul Sanchez drives the custom guayule bailer photo

What should farmers grow in the desert?

As the Colorado River withers, a rubber company tries to persuade Arizona farmers to grow a latex-producing crop that’s adapted to arid conditions.
The white ‘bathtub ring’ around Lake Mead, shown on Jan. 11, 2022, is roughly 160 feet high and reflects falling water levels. George Rose/Getty Images

What is dead pool? A water expert explains

Lake Mead and Lake Powell could reach water levels low enough to halt hydropower production.

Water and colonialism in New Mexico – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 10 – Julia Bernal

Julia Bernal, director of the Pueblo Action Alliance, talks to Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin about the legacy of colonialism in New Mexico and its impact on water issues.