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

Western Slope Colorado River

Water conservation payments to Colorado ranchers could top $120M; is it enough?

A new economic study suggests that a wide-scale water conservation program in Colorado could cost more than $120 million.
Roaring Fork headwaters

Pitkin County’s opposition to tax follows pattern of ‘misalignment’ with River District

Pitkin County’s opposition to a River District tax increase is just the latest in the historically antagonistic relationship between the two entities.

The Colorado River is awash in data vital to its management, but making sense...

A major science report that highlights scientific shortcomings and opportunities in the Basin could aid water managers as they rewrite the river's operating rules.
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.

Restoration, infrastructure and the economic value of rivers – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 4...

We discuss a recent American Rivers report that examines the economic value of rivers and our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure. The report calls on Congress to invest $500 billion over 10 years in water infrastructure and river restoration.
Yampa River at Hayden

Water released from Elkhead Reservoir lifts call on Yampa River

The second-ever call on the Yampa River was lifted after water providers announced an Elkhead Reservoir water release to support irrigators and endangered fish.
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.

CD3 candidates agree on protecting Western Slope water, reservoir enlargements

Diane Mitsch Bush, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, pledged cooperation and Lauren Boebert, her Republican challenger, promised to fight — the Front Range, neighboring states and the federal government — to protect Western Slope water.
Homestake Creek flows from Homestake Reservoir near Red Cliff.

Reservoir-release pilot project in Colorado to test possible compact call

Front Range water providers recently released water stored in Homestake Reservoir to test how to get water downstream to the state line in the event of a Colorado River Compact call.
Old cottonwoods line the banks and trails of the historic Denver Highline Canal

Denver’s High Line Canal a study in using something old to solve new problem

Infrastructure built more than a century ago still endures, but some of Colorado’s old irrigation ditches have been repurposed to meet the moment. The High Line Canal—a 71-mile-long former irrigation conveyance turned greenway and stormwater filtration tool—winds its way through the Denver metro area as an artery of infrastructure boasting a story of adaptation.