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

New Mexico and Rio Grande Water Journalism Project

We've expanded our support for water journalism in the Southwest.

Supported by the Thornburg Foundation and the Water Funder Initiative

Project announcements

New Mexico and Rio Grande Journalism Project

This page explains how journalists can apply to The Water Desk for funding to support their coverage of water issues connected to New Mexico and the Rio Grande. We will...

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Stories and reports

Picuris Pueblo Governor Craig Quanchello photo

Against the flow

Picuris Pueblo says its water has been stolen and shunted over a mountain to the Mora Valley — where irrigators claim rights to it, too.

Western river compacts were innovative in the 1920s but couldn’t foresee today’s water challenges

Interstate river compacts were an innovative solution 100 years ago – but were written for a West far different from today.
Construction workers build a single family home in Castle Rock photo

Fast-growing Douglas County communities need more water. Is a controversial San Luis Valley export...

Douglas County commissioners consider spending $10 million to help finance a controversial San Luis Valley farm water export proposal.

Water and climate change in New Mexico – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 9 – Laura...

We talk to Laura Paskus, a journalist with New Mexico PBS, about her coverage of climate change and water issues in the state.

Grantee stories

A century of federal indifference left generations of Navajo homes without running water

A new pipeline will provide running water to some of the 30 to 40% of Navajo Nation residents who still live without it in their homes.
Navajo Water photo 1

As water reaches eastern Navajo communities, it brings possibilities and homecomings

The Navajo Gallup Water Supply Project, under construction in New Mexico, is testing approaches for improving access to running water.

San Luis Valley ranchers see dividends in water for fish. Are they on to...

A farmer and environmentalist formed an unlikely partnership to improve fish habitat in the San Luis Valley.

Video: Five years after the Gold King Mine spill

Environmental correspondent Laura Paskus revisits the Gold King Mine spill and the destructive impact of the toxic orange plume that went flowing down the Animas and San Juan rivers five years ago.

New Mexico and Rio Grande data visualizations

Data viz: Elephant Butte Reservoir levels

Last update: April 29, 2022 Percent of total capacity Source: US Bureau of Reclamation

Data viz: Navajo Lake levels

Last update: April 29, 2022 Percent of total capacity Source: US Bureau of Reclamation

Map: Rio Grande drought tracker

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 around the...

Map: New Mexico drought tracker

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 around the...

Map: New Mexico monthly precipitation

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

Related multimedia

Water and climate change in New Mexico – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 9 – Laura...

We talk to Laura Paskus, a journalist with New Mexico PBS, about her coverage of climate change and water issues in the state.

Photos and videos: Rio Grande Headwaters, April 2021

This page features drone-captured and ground-based photos and videos of the Rio Grande near its headwaters in southern Colorado. The Rio Grande begins in the San Juan...

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 transform their daily lives with...

Solving water insecurity on the Navajo Nation – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 7 – Kaitlin...

About one-third of Navajo Nation residents lack running water in their homes and water pollution remains a serious issue in the region. We talk to Kaitlin Harris of DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project about solutions to these pressing problems.

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 video galleries are available for...