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

Water diversion photo

Special Report: Inside the toxic link between Colorado’s wildfires and its water

Megafires triggered by drought and climate change have ravaged major Colorado water systems, and recent snowmelt will only make things worse.
California wildfire photo

Another dangerous fire season is looming in the Western U.S., and the drought-stricken region...

Just about every indicator of drought is flashing red across the western U.S. after a dry winter and warm early spring.

East Troublesome Fire could cause water-quality impacts for years

The Colorado fire grew 100,000 acres in 24 hours, eventually becoming the second-largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history.

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires – it’s a risk in...

Heat-damaged plastic pipes can continue to leach chemicals into water over time, and ridding a water system of the contamination can take months and millions of dollars.

Glenwood Springs gets $8 million loan for water-system upgrades following Grizzly Creek Fire

Glenwood Springs received approval for a loan of up to $8 million from the state to upgrade its water system to deal with the impacts from the Grizzly Creek Fire.

The surprising connection between West Coast fires and the volatile chemicals tainting America’s drinking...

Manufactured substances known as volatile organic compounds contaminate drinking water around the U.S. — and recent wildfires are making the situation worse.

Concerns rise over Grizzly Creek Fire’s impact on Colorado River’s endangered fish downstream

By Heather Sackett The Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon has many people praying for rain. But the very thing that could douse the blaze, which has burned 32,000 acres as...

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here’s how communities can be better prepared

Two environmental engineers argue that communities need to upgrade building codes to keep wildfires from causing widespread contamination of drinking water systems.

California’s dream has turned into water nightmares

A new book looks at the Golden State’s history to understand its current water crisis.

As wildfires grow more intense, California water managers are learning to rewrite their emergency...

Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers