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 and videos: Elephant Butte Reservoir, August 2022

This page features drone-captured and ground-based photos and videos of Elephant Butte Reservoir, along the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences, N.M. Elephant Butte Dam,...

Photos and videos: Rio Grande Gorge, August 2022

This page features ground-based and drone-captured images and videos of the Rio Grande Gorge, near Taos, N.M. The Rio Grande Gorge is a striking canyon...

Video footage

Original resolution video for editing and reuse by qualified publishers.

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Photos and videos: Elephant Butte Reservoir, August 2022

This page features drone-captured and ground-based photos and videos of Elephant Butte Reservoir, along the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences, N.M. Elephant Butte Dam,...

Photos and videos: Rio Grande Gorge, August 2022

This page features ground-based and drone-captured images and videos of the Rio Grande Gorge, near Taos, N.M. The Rio Grande Gorge is a striking canyon...

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

Multimedia stories

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

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Video story: Navajo water (full length)

Many residents on the Navajo Reservation are now enjoying clean, running water and solar power in their homes, benefiting from DigDeep’s ambitious project to...

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.