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TV News Packages

Collaborating with public television’s “This American Land,” The Water Desk offers video news packages, downloadable under a free Creative Commons license to any television station for its own news broadcasts.

For questions and to learn more about our offerings, contact Bob Horner at or 704-517-8281.

Listings regularly updated here at

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 low. For the Water Desk, Brad Hicks reports how one rancher along the upper reaches of the river is trying...

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 how a river is being saved by its water being sold. Length: 1:59 Download scriptDownload full-resolution video (split-track audio)

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 River Basin, which is facing record low levels from overuse and rising temperatures. The final decision won’t be made until...

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 change. Many are now looking far and wide for new water sources. Brad Hicks shows you how ideas — discounted...

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 Mead — running dry, time is running out. Brad Hicks shows you why two states are locked in a struggle that...

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 dry. Brad Hicks shows you how one community has already lost its lifeline to water. Length: 1:44 Download scriptDownload full-resolution video

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 Land reports.   Length: 2:00 Download script Download full-resolution video

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 River. Brad Hicks of the public broadcasting’s This American Land reports.   Length: 1:37 Download script Download full-resolution video

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 of water flowing in the Colorado River basin.  A key message: if the affected states and other users can’t agree...

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 own but have never actually possessed. Major river water users will gather in Las Vegas this week to plot how to...

Southern Ute Tribe and climate change

The megadrought in the Southwest is impacting everyone including Native American tribes that have lived here for thousands of years. For The Water Desk, Gary Strieker reports from the Southern Ute Reservation in Colorado. Length: 2:12 Download script Download full-resolution video

Apache water

As the Colorado River is impacted by climate change and drought, Native American tribes are helping to find solutions. For The Water Desk, Gary Strieker reports on the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico, who found a way to lease their water to users...

Navajo water

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 transform their daily lives with the simple miracle of a working tap. Length: 1:49 Download full-resolution video file Script

Restoring the Colorado River Delta

In Mexico, where the Colorado River approaches the sea with barely a trickle, conservationists are working to restore the natural habitats of the river’s dry delta. Gary Strieker reports on the surprising results for the Water Desk. Length: 2:40 Download full-resolution video file Download TV script

Crop-switching in the megadrought

Farmers in Arizona are hoping that guayule, a hardy plant that produces natural rubber, can become a profitable crop requiring far less water than alfalfa, corn and cotton. Gary Strieker reports for The Water Desk. Length: 2:20 Download full-resolution video fileDownload TV script

Corporate support for the river

For decades, water managers and environmentalists have worked to keep a critical stretch of the drought-stressed Colorado River healthy enough to support endangered fish. This year, they’re getting a boost from some of the biggest names in corporate America: Coca-Cola, Coors and Intel. In...

Wildfires and wetlands

Residents in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, see first-hand how wildfires can damage wetlands and watersheds vitally important to their water supply. Jerd Smith reports for The Water Desk. Length: 2:03 Download script Download full-resolution video

The megadrought hits Lake Powell

In the 1960s, Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell, the 186-mile-long reservoir intended to store Colorado River flows from the Rocky Mountains. With the flows reduced by drought and high temperatures, the reservoir is shrinking and raising concerns about water shortages in the Southwest....

Uranium cleanup in Moab

After more than a decade of work, a federal cleanup project along the Colorado River in Utah is still removing radioactive uranium tailings that could pose a threat to water users downstream. Mitch Tobin reports for The Water Desk. Length: 2:34 Download scriptDownload full-resolution video

City water from wilderness

Against fierce opposition, thirsty cities near Denver plan to draw water from Colorado River headwaters in the Holy Cross Wilderness. Jerd Smith reports for The Water Desk. Length: 2:10 Download script Download full resolution video

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Cutting back on irrigation

In a pilot project in Colorado, farmers are reducing irrigation on their hay fields and monitoring the results, to learn if they can send more water down the Colorado...

Toxic dust from the Salton Sea

As California’s Salton Sea dries up, toxic dust on the dry lakebed blows into neighboring communities and causes a serious health hazard. Lindsay Fendt reports. Length: 2:04 Download script Download full resolution...
Salton Sea

California’s vanishing lake

Water conservation in California’s southern desert is causing an environmental disaster as the Salton Sea quickly shrinks. Lindsay Fendt reports. Length: 2:04 Download script Download full resolution video

The value of water

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...

Cooling the river

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...