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February 26, 2024

All users of the Colorado River now have a more efficient way to find U.S. Geological Survey science critical to its future management.

The Colorado River Basin Science Collaboration Portal evolved from the need by partners for better access to the wide range of USGS science produced across the basin. 

“The new USGS Colorado River Basin Science Portal provides a forum for presenting, discussing, integrating and disseminating science with users of USGS and partner data,” said Katharine Dahm, Deputy Regional Director, USGS Rocky Mountain Region. “Through improved access to integrated data, we can deepen understanding and continue collaborative stewardship of the Colorado River system amid mounting water challenges."

Since 2000, the Colorado River Basin has been experiencing a historic, extended drought that has not only impacted the river, snowpack and groundwater supplies, but also forest health, habitat and fire risk. It is the worst drought in the region in recorded history, with an estimated $28 billion in damages to agricultural products alone.

The portal is part of a new integrated science effort that brings together expertise and regional data sets to deliver actionable information that supports decision making related to drought impacts in the Colorado River Basin. USGS experts continue to work with federal, state, Tribal and local stakeholders to improve delivery of actionable science that will help manage, adapt to and mitigate for long-term drought impacts and future challenges in the basin. 

“Colorado River Basin needs and issues continue to evolve as does science, technology and the ability to collaborate with all parties interested in this critical waterway,” said Dahm.

Preliminary content included in the initial release of the Colorado River Basin Science Portal is designed to facilitate discussions about the current science and future science needs. 

Dry conditions at cattle water sources in western Colorado.


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