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

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.
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 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.

Feds call for more water recycling, conservation as Colorado River deteriorates

Water recycling, conservation programs and repair of leaky reservoirs and pipelines will help restore the Colorado River, according to federal officials.
Lake Powell's Glen Canyon Dam photo

New forecast: Lake Powell electricity production to drop, as officials race to boost water...

Electricity produced at Glen Canyon Dam has been cut in half by the 20-year drought.
A view of the Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell photo

As Lake Powell dries up, the US turns to creative accounting for a short-term...

A new agreement calls for Western states to leave their drinking water in the reservoir — and act as if they didn't.
The main boat ramp at Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell photo

Lake Powell to dip below target elevation

Despite emergency releases from upper basin reservoirs to prop up Lake Powell, levels are still projected to dip below a critical threshold.
The Colorado River flows towards Horsethief Canyon photo

Special Report: As Lake Powell hits record lows, is filling a new drought pool...

The drought pool would be filled voluntarily, largely by farmers and ranchers, who would be paid to temporarily dry up their fields.
Glen Canyon Dam photo

As Colorado River reservoirs shrink, feds ask for work-arounds for 2022

As drought threatens Colorado River reservoirs' ability to generate hydropower, the Bureau of Reclamation is creating work-arounds.

In Vegas, experts eye declining Colorado River flows, electricity woes and federal budget impacts

Millions of dollars are being lost as Lake Powell’s drought-strapped hydropower system fails to produce enough electricity.