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.

Multimedia collections

Photo collections

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

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Photos: Lake Nighthorse aerials, May 2023

This page in our free multimedia library features aerial photos of Lake Nighthorse, near Durango, Colorado. The 1,500-acre reservoir, which filled for the first time...

Photos: Animas River aerials, May 2023

This page in our free multimedia library features aerial photos of the Animas River in southwest Colorado. The Animas River begins high in the San...

Video footage

Original resolution video for editing and reuse by qualified publishers.

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Photos and videos: Rio Grande near Taos Junction Bridge, June 2023

This page features ground-based and drone-captured photos and videos of the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico near the Taos Junction Bridge and the...

Photos and videos: Rio Chama rafting, May 2023

This page features photos and videos from a wilderness rafting trip on the Rio Chama in northern New Mexico. The Rio Chama is a major...

Multimedia stories

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

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Renegade rancher

40 million people rely on the Colorado River system for water and power. But after 20 years of drought, the river basin is running...

Saving a river

In the arid Southwest, where water scarcity often divides competing interests, an innovative approach could become the model for future cooperation. Brad Hicks shows you...

Crop in the crosshairs

The federal government is trying to save the water supply for 40 million Americans. It has released three possible plans to protect the Colorado...

Long-distance water

There’s desperation in the desert – for communities that could run out of water if the Colorado River keeps shrinking from overuse and climate...

High stakes standoff

A high stakes standoff is playing out over how to save the Colorado River. And with the biggest man-made reservoir in America — Lake...

Water trouble in Rio Verde Foothills

An Arizona community may be ground zero for climate change in America. The Colorado River basin is in crisis — its reservoirs are running...

Las Vegas water

The Las Vegas area has taken several effective steps to conserve water, with more efforts on the way. Brad Hicks of public broadcasting’s This American...

Deadline passed

The seven states failed to meet a federal deadline of February 1st to agree on a plan to use less water from the Colorado...

Colorado River Water Users Association

More than 1,000 key players from CRWUA met this week to consider what actions to take in response to the reduction in the volume...

Tribal water talks

With growing water shortages on the Colorado River, tribal communities are demanding a bigger role in river management and access to water they legally...

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: Elephant Butte Reservoir levels

Last update: September 21, 2022 Percent of total capacity Source: US Bureau of Reclamation

Data viz: Navajo Lake levels

Last update: September 21, 2022 Percent of total capacity Source: US Bureau of Reclamation