Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Photograph by Jacob Koster
The Colorado River circles through Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona. The Colorado flows 1,470 miles (2.366 kilometers) from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California's Sea of Cortez—or did when its waters were more plentiful. Reduced rainfall and the growing water demands of some 30 million thirsty Westerners have sucked some of the life from the Colorado, and these days its delta is often dry.
Zion National Park, Utah
Photograph by John Stone
Streamside on the canyon floor of Zion National Park in Utah grow thick stands of Fremont cottonwood, box elder, willow, and, a short distance away, cactus and Utah juniper. Vegetation changes rapidly as the terrain rises almost a mile (1.6 kilometers) in elevation. The high plateaus support Douglas fir and ponderosa pine.
Wedge Pond, Alberta, Canada
Photograph by Michael Collier
Autumn colors are muted in the early morning at Wedge Pond in Alberta, Canada. Nearby peaks are part of the Canadian Rockies.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Photograph by Amy Baron
Some 20,000 years ago, towering glacial ice sheets flowed over Maine's Mount Desert Island, rounding mountaintops, cutting passes, widening valleys, and gouging out lakebeds. Jordan Pond, a popular stop in Acadia National Park, is one of many glacier-carved ponds on the island.
Lauca National Park, Chile
Photograph by Heikki Lindgren
A major attraction in Lauca National Park in northern Chile is Chungará Lake. The lake, one of the highest in the world, sprawls at the feet of the Payachata twin volcanoes.
Villa Borghese Gardens, Rome
Photograph by Zach Boyers
Rome's most famous park, the Villa Borghese estate and gardens, was a gift from Pope Paul V to his nephew Scipione Borghese in the early 1600s. Gravel pathways lead past manicured hedges and colorful flowerbeds to the Giardino del Lago—garden of the lake—in the middle of the park.
Lake Titicaca, Peru and Bolivia
Photograph by Allison Poston
At 12,500 feet (3,810 meters), Lake Titicaca is one of the world's highest navigable lakes. The lake sprawls across the border between Peru and Bolivia.
Poleg River, Israel
Photograph by Oren Peles
The Poleg River meets the Mediterranean on Israel's west coast. Most Israelis live along the coastal plain. The eastern interior is dry and includes the Dead Sea—the lowest point on the Earth's surface.
Nile River, Egypt
Photograph by Andrea Guarneri
Women wash clothes while children play in the shallows of the Nile River. The storied river and its fertile valley have been at the center of Egyptian life and culture since the first kings seized control of Nile traffic some 5,000 years ago.
Havasu Falls, Arizona
Photograph by Arun Sundar
The twin streams of Havasu Falls splash down into pool on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, which lies just outside Grand Canyon National Park.
Iguazú Falls, Brazil
Photograph by Fabiano Rebeque
Iguazú Falls straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil just downstream from Paraguay. Over 5,000 cubic meters (176,573 cubic feet) of water plunge down 275 cataracts every second.
Great Falls Park, Virginia
Photograph by Wes Smith
The Potomac River tumbles over steep rocks in Great Falls Park, Virginia. The 800-acre (324-hectare) park is just 15 minutes from Washington, D.C.
Frenchtown Pond State Park, Montana
Photograph by Emily Skeels
Popular with fishermen, Montana's Frenchman Pond is home to sunfish, bass, and bullhead. The pond is part of Frenchman Pond State Park.
Chipitin Waterfall, Mexico
Photograph by Miguel Gomez Chipitin
Chipitin Waterfall in Santiago, Nuevo León, Mexico, splashes down into Chipitin Canyon. The spot is popular for rappelling and other sports.
Mara River, Kenya and Tanzania
Photograph by Ammi Shah
The Mara River, which winds through Kenya and Tanzania, plays a role in the annual great migration of wildebeests, zebras, and other animals through this swath of Africa.
Help Save the Colorado River
You can help restore freshwater ecosystems by pledging to cut your water footprint. For every pledge, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons back to the Colorado River.
Sandra is a leading authority on international freshwater issues and is spearheading our global freshwater efforts.
He's paddled the Colorado River from its headwaters to the delta, in an effort to bring awareness to this mighty river at risk.
For more than 15 years, Osvel Hinojosa Huerta has been resurrecting Mexico's Colorado River Delta wetlands.
Water Currents, by Sandra Postel and Others
Farmers in the Verde River Basin employ new technology to benefit a desert environment.
Funny new viral video series hopes to get people thinking about the importance of water.
Are the lakes getting siphoned off and shipped to China? Are natural cycles to blame for lower levels?
Special Ad Section
The World's Water
NG's new Change the Course campaign launches. When individuals pledge to use less water in their own lives, our partners carry out restoration work in the Colorado River Basin.
A special series on how grabbing water from poor people and future generations threatens global food security, environmental sustainability, and local cultures.