Lake McConaughy is nearly full. The giant reservoir on the North Platte River has been receiving lots of inflows from heavy snows and continued rainfall in the headwaters in Colorado and Wyoming. Formed by the Kingsley Dam, Lake McConaughy is one of the largest reservoirs on the North Platte River. Built as a hydro-irrigation project […]

Here at the international headquarters of the Platte Basin Timelapse project in Lincoln, Nebraska, there are times when unplanned or unexpected things happen. When those unplanned or unexpected things are too good to resist we document them. Take for example last Thursday (May 7, 2015). The Lincoln airport reported 6.65 inches of rain, which may not sound like […]

Today we may think nothing of driving over a bridge. One hundred and fifty years ago, it wasn’t so easy. Some of the first bridges across the Platte were made of sod.

We all know that water flows downhill, seeking its own level, flowing to the sea. Water is a primary force shaping our planet and environment. It will erode rock, move soil, and, in its frozen form as glaciers, sculpt mountains, valleys, and plains. I’ve been traveling upstream on the North Platte River through western Nebraska, […]

On a hot humid morning in late June, I got out of the truck dressed in a faded white cotton t-shirt, baggie shorts, and teva sandals, with a small backpack slung over my shoulder. I looked like I was headed out for a day at the beach. And I was. Well, sort of. In a […]

Every year in late spring and early summer, Rocky Mountain snowmelt travels downstream where it intercepts a series of dams, reservoirs, and diversions. This section of the Platte River is the major source for crop irrigation across the arid landscapes of eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska. Continue the story here to follow a snowflake from […]

Gill moved to Lincoln, Nebraska from Israel when he was 14-years-old. Not only did he find the different toilets and impeccably green lawns unusual, but he noticed the topic of water was rarely on people’s minds, or even considered a priority.

In September 2013, it began to rain in Colorado. And it didn’t stop. Northwest of Fort Collins, the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River soon carried record amounts of water. In just a few days, flows leapt from three cubic feet per second (cfs) to more than 1000 cfs when the upstream dam could not hold any more water and began to spill over.

Lateral erosion of banks is a defining characteristic to any braided stream like the Platte. As water moves downstream, banks are transformed as water tends to spread out over the broad, shallow valley of the Platte River. Over the course of a year, our camera unexpectedly observed this happening at a camera location owned and managed by the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program.

In recent years, the river has formed an S-shaped route a short distance upstream from the measurement weir and has caused the riverbanks near the gauging station to erode, threatening to bypass the weir itself.