The Times podcast: Colorado River in Crisis, Part 1: A Dying River

Sunken boat at Lake Mead
A formerly sunken boat stands upright along the shoreline of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The U.S. Interior Department announced last fall that it will consider revising a set of guidelines for operating two major dams on the Colorado River in the first sign of what could lead to federal action to protect the shrinking reservoirs behind them.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

The Colorado River is the water lifeline for tens of millions of people across the American Southwest, which couldn’t have developed the way it is today without the river. But all the damming and diversion done to the Colorado has put it at a tipping point where a future with no water is no longer just fantasy but perilously possible.

Today, The Times kicks off a six-part special on the future of this vital waterway. New episodes will publish every Friday through Feb. 10. Follow the project here. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times water reporter Ian James

More reading:

They sounded alarms about a coming Colorado River crisis. But warnings went unheeded

Video: Desert suburbia is growing. But the Colorado River, and Arizona’s groundwater, cannot keep up.

California snowpack is far above average amid January storms, but a lot more is needed

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our fellow is Helen Li. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.