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

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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.

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Photos: Parker Dam, February 2021

This page features photos of Parker Dam, located along the Colorado River on the Arizona-California border.   Built between 1934 and 1938 by the Bureau...

Photos: Grand Canyon rafting, fall 2019

This page features photos of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park during a rafting trip in fall 2019. The Colorado River carved the...

Video footage

Original resolution video for editing and reuse by qualified publishers.

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Photos and videos: Navajo Dam and Navajo Lake, August 2021

This page features imagery and videos of of Navajo Lake and Navajo Dam, along the San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. The image and...

Aerial videos and images: Green River flight, May 2021

This page features aerial video footage and still images of the Green River heading upstream from its confluence with the White River in northeast...

Data visualization

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

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Data viz: Lake Mead levels

Last update: November 16, 2021 Percent of total capacity Source: US Bureau of Reclamation

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.

Multimedia stories

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

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Tour the San Joaquin River

An interactive map visualizes restoration efforts on the San Joaquin River.

Unclear waters: How pollution, diversions and drought are squeezing the life...

The Arkansas Valley Conduit promises to bring clean drinking water to more residents of southeast Colorado.

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.