In Northeastern Colorado, farmers growing food like corn and potatoes depend for water on a giant, underground reservoir. Called the Ogallala, or High Plains aquifer, this water source spreads across eight high plains states like a giant, underground lake.
In times of drought, farmers who use the aquifer for water take more of it. A report from the U.S. Geological Survey, published December 16, shows the 2012 drought significantly diminished the Ogallala's water.
The northern arm of the Rocky Mountains is sometimes called "the crown of the continent," and its jewels are glaciers and snowfields that irrigate large parts of North America during spring thaw.
But the region is getting warmer, even faster than the rest of the world. Scientists now say warming is scrambling the complex relationship between water and nature and could threaten some species with extinction as well as bring hardship to ranchers and farmers already suffering from prolonged drought.
A new study found a class of insecticides popular with corn and soybean farmers in Midwest waterways.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media
Powerful chemicals used by many farmers to ward off insects are making their way into Midwest rivers and streams, according to a study by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
After a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit Saturday evening near the northeastern Colorado town of Greeley, questions about its connection to oil and gas development started popping up on social media and in the blogosphere, with anti-fracking activists trying to make a link between the two.
The area where the Collbran mudslide happened has seen similar slides in the past. Geologists say relatively weak rock and steep terrain create a recipe for such natural disasters. Still, Colorado in general is less vulnerable to slides than wetter areas, like the west coast. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.
The Colorado Geological Survey began mapping landslides near Collbran in the 1980’s. They discovered the area where this debris flow happened was prone to slides.