Karen Halverson


The Colorado is no longer a wild thing. It’s a human construct, a pipeline. Except near the sources, neither the Green nor the Colorado flows free. Colorado River water is entirely used up before reaching the delta of its own making.

The West depends for its life on Colorado River water and reclamation is a remarkable feat. But there has been a heavy price.  Hundreds of square miles of desert and canyon country now lie buried beneath giant reservoirs.

Downsteam chronicles my exploration of the mainstem Colorado — the mountainous reaches, the rushing canyon waters, the stilled reservoirs, and the diminished waters of the lower river.

Sometimes I find beauty, sometimes desecration, often a perplexing and absurd combination.

— Karen Halverson