As part of EcoFlight’s Flight Across America 2012 program, students flew the Upper Colorado River Basin studying the river from the air, and interviewing water users along the way. Photographer Heather Rousseau joined us and produced this photo essay on water and energy use along the mighty Colorado:
Posted Apr 10, 2013
Heather Rousseau spent ten days last fall photographing and interviewing people living and working in western Colorado, documenting their relationships with the land, energy and water.
“Last summer, Colorado—like much of the rest of the country—saw some of the driest and hottest conditions on record,” recalls Rousseau. “Since 80 percent of the state’s population lives on one side of the Continental Divide while 80 percent of its water comes from the other, everyone in Colorado and the west is affected by the dry conditions.”
Originally from Michigan, Heather Rousseau was a photographer at the Aspen Daily News from 2007-2011. She was one of The Denver Post’s 2012 summer photography interns and is currently finishing master’s degrees in both Visual Communication and Environmental Sustainability from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. This fall, she again returned to Colorado for this project, as a part of her coursework.
“I love the spirit and the landscape of the west, it is one of the most adventurous places I have been where everyone seems to have a deep connection with the landscape and nature, which in turn is connected to the river,” writes Rousseau. “Just like anywhere else, Coloradans embody an array of opinions and life habits. However, one belief seems to be shared by most who live in the arid west. Water is a valuable and finite resource and the Colorado River is pertinent to their way of life and water needs of the west.”