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

Colorado River crisis giving tribes new opportunities to right century-old water wrongs

Early involvement in negotiating new Colorado River guidelines will be critical for tribes to determine their future.
Hydroelectric turbine at Glen Canyon Dam photo

Powell’s looming power problem

Drought and demand threaten a critical component of the Western grid as Lake Powell approaches minimum power pool for the first time.
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.
Construction workers build a single family home in Castle Rock. The community needs new surface water supplies to reduce its reliance on non-renewable groundwater. Credit: Jerd Smith

Douglas County says no to developers’ San Luis Valley water export proposal

Douglas County will not use COVID-relief funding to help finance a controversial $400 million-plus proposal to export farm water from the San Luis Valley to their fast-growing, water-short region.
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.

As drought shrinks the Colorado River, a Southern California giant seeks help from river...

Metropolitan Water District's water recycling proposal builds momentum amid increasingly dry conditions.

Southern Ute Tribe and climate change

The megadrought in the Southwest is impacting everyone including Native American tribes that have lived survived here for thousands of years. For The Water Desk, Gary Strieker reports from...
Picuris Pueblo Governor Craig Quanchello photo

Against the flow

Picuris Pueblo says its water has been stolen and shunted over a mountain to the Mora Valley — where irrigators claim rights to it, too.