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

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Data visualizations

The Water Desk develops, collects, and showcases innovative data visualizations, maps and graphics. We offer a series of interactive dashboards that allow you to explore data on water-related topics, such as drought, snowpack and precipitation. You can also embed these dashboards on your own website.

Recent visualizations and posts

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

EcoWest dashboards

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precipitation map ecowest

Map: monthly average precipitation

This map shows total rain and snowfall in the contiguous United States, every month from 1981 to the present. The map's color scale runs from white (no precipitation), to blue (significant...

Map: U.S. dams and reservoirs

The Global Dams and Reservoirs Database (GRaND) is a survey listing about 7,000 larger dams and reservoirs worldwide, including 1,920 in the United States. Data includes such...
us drought monitor ecowest dashboard

Map: weekly drought reports

This map depicts data from the National Drought Mitigation Center. Drought intensity categories are based on numerous indicators and local reports from more than 350 expert observers...

Other maps, charts, and visualizations

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.

Data viz: surveying Colorado River Basin maps

This collection of Colorado River Basin maps includes public domain images and other cartographic resources for depicting the watershed.
The Water Desk’s mission is to increase the volume, depth and power of journalism connected to Western water issues. We're an initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Water Desk launched in April 2019 with support from the Walton Family Foundation. We maintain a strict editorial firewall between our funders and our journalism. The Water Desk is seeking additional funding to build and sustain the initiative.