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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.

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?
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.

Not enough water and too many invasives at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Years of drought, upstream diversions and impoundments, and an overly optimistic forecast of Colorado River flows, have sapped the river once literally called Grand.

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.

Climate change reducing Colorado River runoff

As climate warming shrinks the Colorado River Basin's snowpack, runoff into the river will decrease by 9.5% per 1 degree C (Patrick Cone, National Parks Traveler)

Degrees of warming: Rising temperatures, shorter winters and a declining snowpack are impacting Aspen’s...

Pitkin County is warming, the number of frost-free days is increasing and snowpack is declining—all of which have myriad impacts on life in the Aspen area.

How climate change is redesigning Canyonlands National Park

A warming climate has been linked to human activity around the world, and has affected the Colorado River System as well. The impacts are substantial, from reduced water flows, threats to indigenous species and the influx of new invasive species along the river system.
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Video story: When in drought, call the beavers

Beaver reintroduction and restoration can help with some of the West's most profound water problems, both in terms of quantity and quality. A trial program is underway at Caribou Ranch in Boulder County.

Colorado River Econ 101

The white-water rafting industry depends on reliable flows from the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park. (Patrick Cone, National Parks Traveler) By...