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

Colorado’s oldest water rights get extra protection from state engineer

Some water experts say preserving these pre-compact water rights, even though they aren’t being used, could give Colorado stronger footing in potential negotiations with Lower Basin states by propping up Colorado’s consumptive-use tally on paper.
South Platte River

Aurora inks $43.7 million in water deals on South Platte River

Thirsty Front Range Colorado cities continue to drive the market for South Platte River farm water with Aurora announcing two major deals to acquire farms and their water rights.

The delicate dance of Dillon Reservoir during spring runoff

Managing how water moves from one side of the Continental Divide to the other requires cautious timing and accurate forecasting.

Cutting back on irrigation

In a pilot project in Colorado, farmers are reducing irrigation on their hay fields and monitoring the results, to learn if they can send more water down the Colorado...
Canoe at pond without water rights

State officials set sights on ponds without water rights

Colorado officials say ponds without water rights throughout the region are depleting the Colorado River system.
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.

Crystal River Ranch near Carbondale seeks to preserve water rights tied to potential dams,...

Are junior water rights to an oversubscribed river enough to justify two reservoirs on a farm? One Colorado rancher is about to find out.

Western Colorado water purchases stir up worries about the future of farming

Part of a series by Aspen Journalism, KUNC, KJZZ and The Nevada Independent exploring how investors are banking on the West’s water scarcity.
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.

Video: Selling water

Should Colorado River water be used to grow alfalfa or subdivisions in the Phoenix metropolitan area?