100 Gallons

A 2013 Special Report

This is a story about the Colorado River. How we changed the river, and how the river changes us.
The project, an experiment in journalistic storytelling, is best experienced as an interactive film.
If you prefer, browse below to view each story separately.


The Colorado River nourished early nations along its banks for centuries. Westward expansion demanded more and more water, pushing governments to dam and tap the river's waters.


More and more, people needed the Colorado's water to support their lifestyles and economies. States competed for precious water with occasional efforts at conservation.


Choices, by individuals and governments, have redirected the Colorado in ways that have damaged wildlife and forced reactive decisions to ensure access to water. Today's decisions will affect future generations' water security.


The Colorado River has the capacity to change us. A group of veterans rafting the Colorado River experience its transformative effects.

Inside the Story

Official trailer

100 Gallons

A 2012 Special Report

Every single day.
From moment to moment, from birth to death, water powers our lives.
The project, an experiment in journalistic storytelling, is best experienced as an interactive film.
If you prefer, browse below to view each story separately.

What we don't see

Some of us stop thinking about water after it goes down the drain. But it goes somewhere. Under our cities, hidden rivers carry away the waste of daily life. Explore the depths of these unseen connections.

What we use

70 percent of our planet is covered with water, yet less than one percent of that is water we can drink. Our lives are tied to water, yet we are generally unconscious of our impact on the resource that gives us life.

What we risk

We are conditioned to depend on light when it's dark, heat when it's cold and power when we plug in. Half of the freshwater in the U.S. is used in energy production, including coal, nuclear and natural gas. We stake the quality of our water for our way of life.

What we pay

More than food and shelter, oil and gas, water is our most basic need. In the United States, water comes cheap. But its value is best discovered by those without it.

What we sense

Water is wonderful. It falls free from the sky smelling like heaven and washes away filth — and it can taste so good.

How we live

We are water creatures. Our bodies develop in water, and we live every day — moment to moment — powered by water. Water is life, and our search for life on our planet and beyond continues to be a search for water. It defines and sustains us, from birth to death.

Coal: A Love Story

A 2011 Special Report

It’s not just a rock. It’s power. It’s people. It’s a relationship.
This project is an experiment in journalistic storytelling.
It is best experienced as an interactive film. If you prefer, browse below to view each story separately.

Below the surface

Most of us don't think about where our energy comes from. But in Appalachia and the Powder River Basin, mining coal is a way of life that can create both pride and passion.

In the air

Generating electricity can pollute the air we breathe, causing illness and even death. Neighbors of coal-fired power plants are fighting for cleaner air. Air pollutants can also travel, damaging health in other states.

Close to home

We rely on coal in everyday life. When we switch on the lights, call our friends on the phone or turn on the faucet, we're using coal. You might be surprised at how much coal you use and where it comes from.

From 30,000 feet

See the big picture in our complicated love affair with coal, grasp the details at ground level, then back up to expand your view.

Official trailer


On the edge

Venice, La., faces extinction. The BP oil spill has threatened the small fishing community's livelihood.

Energy cocktail

Can you supply enough energy for America while balancing carbon emissions and costs?

Nuclear properties

Part of the U.S. energy portfolio for more than 30 years, nuclear power remains a divisive issue. Concerns about safety, costs and jobs continue to dominate the landscape.

Manufacturing change

As Detroit attempts to reinvigorate a failing economy, alternative energy pioneers have a chance to spark a new industry.

Blackout on the hill

President Obama brought to Washington the promise to rethink U.S. energy policy. Why, two years later, has no long-term comprehensive policy been put in place?

The power of water

Each year, Americans withdraw nearly half of their water resources to meet their growing energy demand, yet few realize the intrinsic connection between the two.


Climate Refugees

Reporter Anna York traveled to Newtok, Alaska, to see firsthand how the rising sea threatened the stability of the village and its residents.

Down the lines

As energy consumption increases, the construction of power lines has fallen behind, leaving the energy grid in jeopardy.

Debating coal’s future

The residents of Meigs County, Ohio are faced with the potential of a new coal plant, which could harm the community’s health but also create jobs.

The high energy diet

The food we eat is processed using a large amount of fossil fuels and often travels a long way before arriving on our plates.

Mining the mountains

Mountaintop removal is an increasingly contentious issue in West Virginia. Protesters, miners and legislators clash in Appalachia.

Powering down

The Powering Down energy challenge gives you the tools you need to chart your energy use and target savings in your home.

Inside the Story

The power in plants

As efforts increase to lessen dependence on non-renewable energy sources, biofuels present a complex but perhaps viable alternative.

Reclaiming creation

Even in the secular, scientific realm of climate change and energy policy, religious faith could play a role.

Roping the wind

Farmers in Roscoe, Texas, missed out on the oil and gas boom, but they’re cashing in by placing wind turbines on their property.

The climate generation

Young people are at an added risk as climate change threatens their future. The nation’s youth are taking a more active role in trying to curb this threat.