Here are some helpful online resources for learning more about the Colorado River Basin and Western water issues.
On this page:
U.S. Drought Monitor
Every Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor releases a map showing the areas of the country that are currently in various stages of drought. The product is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This site also provides GIS data, historical drought information and useful visualizations to compare maps over time.
(See our drought dashboard for one use of this data.)
U.S. Geological Survey: Water Use in the United States
In 2015, water use in the United States was around 322 billion gallons per day. This report provides data and details on how all of that water was used and trends since 1950.
U.S. Geological Survey: Water Science School
The USGS offers helpful primers on water science, the hydrologic cycle, water quality and how water is used. The site includes maps, data, multimedia and other resources.
Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center
This water program of the California-focused think tank offers a number of helpful fact sheets and other publications on water issues in California.
Water Education Colorado
Water Education Colorado provides nine citizen’s guides on water topics, including the law, conservation, quality and supply. This site is also the home of Fresh Water News and Headwaters Magazine.
To learn more about Colorado water issues, check out these resources from Fresh Water News:
- Fact sheet on Colorado’s instream flow program
- Fact sheet on environmental flows in Colorado
- Fact sheet on the Colorado Water Plan and its financing
Water Education Foundation
The Water Education Foundation offers a water encyclopedia, photos, videos, historical timelines and a tool for Californians to determine the source of their water. This site is also home to Western Water.
There are a number of university-based programs and projects that focus on water issues and the Colorado River Basin:
- Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University
- California Institute for Water Resources at the University of California
- Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University
- Center for Water, Earth Science and Technology at the University of Colorado Boulder
- Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California Davis
- Colorado River Research Group
- Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University
- Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University
- Columbia Water Center
- Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder
- Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Boulder
- Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University
- Ruth Powell Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University
- UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
- UC Water Security Security and Sustainability Research Initiative at the University of California
- Water in the West at Stanford University
- Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico
- Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona
- Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado Boulder
- Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado Boulder
Do you know of other resources on the web that would be helpful for water journalists and others? Please contact us so we can consider including them on this page.