colorado river

The thirty-three founders of the National Geographic Society were an adventurous and accomplished group. They included scientists, explorers, a journalist and a superintendent of the National Zoo. In recognition of the National Geographic Society’s recent 130th anniversary this series takes a look at their stories. By Mark Collins Jenkins Almon Thompson didn’t set out to...

Sunday March 23, 2014, at a little after 8 am, the gates at Morelos Dam on the Mexico-Arizona border were opened for the first time in history for the purpose of allowing the Colorado River to flow downstream into its delta to water the plants and animals that live there.  A crowd of more than...

On Monday, March 24, I leave on a trip to witness an event I never thought I’d see:  the Colorado River flowing through its delta toward the sea. Except in years of unusually high precipitation in its watershed, the Colorado hasn’t coursed through its delta for most of the last half century. Its entire flow...

You’ve used Google’s Street View to navigate unfamiliar cities. Now, you can use it to explore a river. Today, Google, in partnership with American Rivers, is launching the Colorado River Street View. The imagery features the iconic Grand Canyon — 286 miles of the river, from Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry. It marks the first...

Imagine if one day you couldn’t get home.  Your journey stopped short of where you were supposed to be. That’s the story of the iconic Colorado River, which sculpted the Grand Canyon and today sustains 30 million people, but now stops flowing 90 miles before reaching the sea, its final destination. With partners, Change the...

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend on radio, or listen below! Hour 1 – Alex Honnold has made a name for himself...

This week, more evidence came in that hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) poses potentially serious risks to drinking water quality and human health. A team of researchers from the University of Missouri found evidence of hormone-disrupting activity in water located near fracking sites – including samples taken from the Colorado River near a dense drilling region...

Once written off as dying of thirst and beyond revival, the delta of the Colorado River is slated to get a rejuvenating flood that for scientists offers a unique opportunity: the chance to study how plants, trees, birds, fisheries, and the vast delta ecosystem as a whole respond to an experimental pulse of river water....

Water flows downhill, and you wouldn’t think that rivers would stop for political boundaries, not even when national borders intersect a river channel’s natural course.  The Mekong flows through China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia before it drains into the South China Sea.  The Nile watershed includes Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt,...

Climate change and population growth in areas dependent on water from the Colorado River Basin are projected to cause unprecedented water shortages over the coming decades. These shortages could have a major impact on communities from Denver to Phoenix, Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, and pretty much everywhere in-between. There’s already a legacy of...

Visual artist Kurt Wenner is best known for his whimsical 3-D chalk drawings, which he has made on city streets and in museums around the world. Often imitated, the perspective-bending style was invented by Wenner in the early 2000s. In 2010, Wenner made a massive chalk drawing to support Greenpeace’s efforts to protest genetically engineered foods...

Visual artist Kurt Wenner is best known for his whimsical 3-D chalk drawings, which he has made on city streets and in museums around the world. Often imitated, the perspective-bending style was invented by Wenner in the early 2000s. In 2010, Wenner made a massive chalk drawing to support Greenpeace’s efforts to protest genetically engineered foods...

The history of water, especially in the western United States, is largely one of reaching further out to distant water sources as population grows and local supplies get tight. But five southern California cities that today rely heavily on water transferred hundreds of miles from the Colorado River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta are reversing...

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the final in a four-part series about the trip. Day 1  *  Day 2 * Day 3 Day 4 Today,...

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the final in a four-part series about the trip. Day 1  *  Day 2 * Day 3 Day 4 Today,...