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

City of Aspen banks on creative thinking for ATM water project

The city of Aspen is moving ahead on a project aimed at increasing the reliability of its water supply and environmental flows through what’s known as an “alternative transfer method,” or ATM.
Big beaches are growing, and stabilizing, along the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon just above Lake Powell, like this one captured in early October. A recent study on the secondary economic impacts of a water-use-reduction program intended to deliver more water to Lake Powell found some jobs could be lost across western Colorado.

Study finds small number of jobs lost under demand-management program

A recent study of a Colorado demand-management program found that the benefits would be comparable to the negative secondary impacts.

Colorado official says demand management program holds water

At the heart of a potential program is a reduction in water use in an attempt to send up to 500,000 acre-feet downstream to Lake Powell to bolster thereservoir and meet 1922 Colorado River Compact obligations.

Who should pay for water conservation in the West? Water managers wade into discussion

The head of the Colorado River District says any funding must be channeled through the Colorado Water Conservation Board to prevent speculation by private buyers.
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.

‘This system cannot be sustained’

This year, tribal nations enter negotiations over Colorado River water.

Chatfield Reservoir’s $171M redo complete, with new storage for Front Range cities, farmers

Chatfield Reservoir, one of the largest liquid playgrounds in the Denver metro area, will now store water under a $171 million deal.

California’s dream has turned into water nightmares

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

Humans are great at giving real problems the side-eye

Two new books provide insights into the willful ignorance that lead to the West’s water woes.