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

Troubled Waters

The Trump administration’s new definition of “waters of the United States” dramatically shrinks federal protection of many wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act. The rule change cuts red tape for farmers and developers but could threaten ecosystems and drinking water, especially in the arid West.
Video story: The value of water

Video story: The value of water (full length)

With population growth around Denver prompting fierce competition for water, investors want to import a new supply from the San Luis Valley, but many farmers and ranchers who depend on that water are opposed to the plan.

Video story: California’s vanishing lake (full length)

Water conservation in California’s southern desert is causing an environmental disaster as the Salton Sea quickly shrinks.
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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.

Video story: Cooling the Yampa river (full length)

As climate change brings warmer weather, Westerners are looking for ways to protect the region’s rivers and streams. In a special report for the Water Desk, Jerd Smith of Fresh Water News explains a strategy for safeguarding Colorado’s Yampa River.

Decades later, abandoned mines continue to haunt Colorado’s waterways

According to a 2017 study, there are over 23,000 abandoned mines across Colorado and 1,800 miles of streams that are impaired due to pollutants related to acid mine drainage.