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

Home Multimedia library

Multimedia library

We’re building a library of free-to-use multimedia assets that includes photos, videos, charts, graphics, maps and other visual content that can help tell the story of water, especially in the American West and Colorado River Basin.

We welcome you to browse our content and subscribe to our email newsletter for updates when we publish new material.

Photo collections

Browse photo galleries and download high-resolution imagery for reuse by qualified organizations.

See more »

Photos and videos: Blue Mesa Reservoir, December 2020

This page features ground-based photos of Blue Mesa Reservoir, along the Gunnison River in Curecanti National Recreation Area. DateDecember 24-25, 2020LocationBlue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado...

Photos and videos: Navajo Lake and San Juan River, April 2021

This page features drone-captured videos and images of Navajo Lake, a reservoir that impounds the San Juan River in southern Colorado and northern New...

Video footage

Original resolution video for editing and reuse by qualified publishers.

See more »

Photos and videos: Navajo Lake and San Juan River, April 2021

This page features drone-captured videos and images of Navajo Lake, a reservoir that impounds the San Juan River in southern Colorado and northern New...

Photos and videos: Hanging Flume and Dolores River

This page features photos and drone videos of the Hanging Flume above the Dolores River in southwest Colorado. Built from around 1888 to 1891...

Data visualization

The Water Desk provides original data visualizations for downloading or embedding, and surveys the best of western water data viz and maps.

See more »

Map: Explore drone, aerial and terrestrial imagery from The Water Desk

Use this interactive map to browse our expanding collection of free-to-use photos and videos captured by drones, planes and ground-based photographers.

Data viz: explore our interactive dashboards for drought, precipitation and snowpack

These maps and visualizations let you interact with vital data on our water supply.

Multimedia stories

Stories using multimedia produced or collected by The Water Desk. These are available for republication by qualifying organizations.

See more »

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.
video still

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.