Western States Propose Deal Over Beleaguered Rio Grande

New Mexico, Texas and Colorado have negotiated a proposed settlement that they say will end a yearslong battle over management of one of the longest rivers in North America, but the federal government and two irrigation districts that depend on the Rio Grande are objecting. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Tuesday announced that the states had brokered a deal following months of negotiations. While the terms remain confidential, his office called it “a comprehensive resolution of all the claims in the case.”

Feds are Putting a Price Tag on Water in the Colorado River Basin to Spur Farmers to Conserve

The federal government is designating $4 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act for drought mitigation work in the Colorado River basin.

On Wednesday, the Department of the Interior announced that total, indicating that $500 million will go to efficiency upgrades in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Another chunk of IRA money will be set aside for direct payments to farmers and ranchers to forgo water deliveries from Lake Mead in the river’s Lower Basin, primarily in Arizona and California. Federal officials are not specifying how much money will be available for that first round of payments.

Colorado’s Snowpack Is Melting at a “Ridiculous” Rate

Colorado didn’t see enough snow this winter to fully recover from the ongoing megadrought and now what snow the state did see is melting too quickly, experts say.

“If we continue on at the rate we’re at we’re looking at probably a complete meltout by the end of May or beginning of June,” Becky Bolinger, of the Colorado Climate Center, told The Denver Post.

That’s too soon. By several weeks, she said. So drought conditions are likely to worsen, exacerbating what officials are anticipating could be the worst wildfire year in Colorado’s history.

The Western U.S. Might Be Seeing its Last Snowy Winters

When a fire started spreading quickly in Boulder County, Colorado, on December 30, destroying nearly 1,000 homes as residents fled, the ground was dry. This was unusual: Boulder typically gets around 30 inches of snow between September and December. But last year, it had only a total of 1.7 inches over the same period before heavier snow finally started falling on December 31—too late to save the neighborhoods that burned.

Opinion: the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Is No Longer a Contingency

If you live in Colorado—you get it. We don’t quit when challenged. Whether you live in a city, on a farm or ranch, in a rural town, or somewhere in between—you are part of the dynamic group of people who call Colorado home; people who understand when it comes to protecting Colorado water, specifically the Colorado River’s water, we must rise together to meet the challenge.


From its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado River flows broadly across 1,450 miles of the southwestern United States, changing elevation by a remarkable 10,000 feet. More than 40 million people rely on the Colorado, the nation’s fifth-longest river, for drinking water and energy through hydroelectric power. In addition, the river supports an estimated $25 billion recreational economy and an agricultural economy of about $1.4 trillion a year.

Colorado Heads Into Snowpack Season With Low Reservoirs — but a Twinge of Hope

Drought conditions have eased up a bit from this time last year, but as the calendar turns on Colorado’s water year, worries about a dry winter still loom, the state’s assistant climatologist says.

That’s not to say Colorado isn’t parched. Most of the state remains in drought, including the Eastern Plains, which spent much of the summer drought-free.

Climate Change Isn’t Coming in the Future, It’s Already Here. This Is How It’s Impacting Your Everyday Life.

When Virginia Iglesias goes climbing in Eldorado Canyon or skis the Gore Range, she tries to block out all the big data she collects as a researcher for the University of Colorado’s Earth Lab climate change section. But it’s hard to ignore.

The wildfire smoke and ozone choking her climbing friends and obscuring the views of the Flatirons.

Drought-Hit Blue Mesa Reservoir Losing 8 Feet Of Water To Save Lake Powell. A Western Slope Marina Feels The Pain.

People wait in line at Elk Creek Marina to back their trailers into the water to pull their boats out of the lake. Some, like Walter Swetkoff, are frustrated.

Swetkoff and his wife have sailed Blue Mesa Reservoir outside of Gunnison, Colo., for more than 30 years. The National Park Service told everyone who stores their boats at the marina they had 10 days to get out of the water because of the drought.

Drought-Stricken Colorado Mulls Water Measuring for Agriculture

Colorado is proposing to ramp up requirements that agricultural water users, ranging from big companies to small mom-and-pop farms, measure the amount of water they divert from streams, rivers and waterways.

The state engineer says a statewide rule is necessary to prepare Colorado for a water-scarce future. Some water users, however, accuse the state of taking a heavy-handed and overly expensive approach that will force landowners to install devices in areas that don’t need them.

How Water Rights Work in Colorado — and Why Severe Drought Makes Them Work Differently

Whether you’re a kayaker or an angler or a hard-core gardener in Colorado, we get that this water thing is confusing.

If the eastern half of the state is getting plenty of water and the western half is literally burning up, why are we still pumping so much water east over the divide to already-green Front Range communities? Why did Colorado River supervisors at state Parks and Wildlife tell us to stop fishing the river one week, and then say the next week, “No problem, go ahead, we found some water”?