Colorado Water History
Colorado is the Headwaters State. Four major rivers begin in its Rocky Mountains: the Colorado, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, and the Platte. Because all of these flow out of Colorado to other equally arid states, competition for this limited supply occurs both within the state and across its borders.
The development and use of water, and the politics and law that accompany it--not to mention people and organizations with diverse needs that use it--have created a complex history. That history touches on agriculture, engineering, wildlife, recreation, and much more.
Researching Colorado's complex water history can be daunting! The resources presented in this guide will help you navigate water history from Colorado's headwaters to the state's borders--and beyond.
This guide is brought to you by the Water Resources Archive, the best place in the state to begin learning about the history of Colorado's most precious resource.
What's New at the Water Resources Archive
January 2024 - Deadline approaching: Water Scholar applications, due Jan. 31
January 2024 - Updated finding aid: Records of Wright Water Engineers
November 2023 - H2O Talk podcast (season 2, episode 10) features "The Water Archivist"
October 2023 - New issue: Preserving the Source e-newsletter
October 2023 - Newly digitized groundwater materials from the Longenbaugh Papers now online