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Annual Seminars

2014 Annual Water Seminar: Fri., Sept. 19, 2014
Two Rivers Convention Center, Grand Junction, CO

"Growing the River: Is It All About Ag?"

2014 Annual Water Seminar, Sept. 19, 2014, Grand Junction, CO
"Growing the River: Is It All About Ag?"
As long-term drought, future population growth and greater demands on the river dominate the news, all eyes are turned to agriculture as a way to find so called new water for municipal uses. Ag is also a target for solving operation issues at the two big reservoirs, Powell and Mead. These issues and more were discussed at our recent seminar.

9:00     Introductions: John Justman, Colorado River District Board Director, Mesa County

9:10    Climate and The River: Findings, insights and uncertainties from the Updated Climate Change in Colorado Report - Jeff Lukas, Senior Research Associate at the Western Water Assessment and co-author of a Colorado Water Conservation Board climate change report to assist water managers, reports on additional nuances of the projected future climate and hydrology. Those projections indicate that critical aspects of water supply and water use in Western Colorado are likely to change by mid-century.

9:40   Over-Allocation of the River: Now It Means Something - Brad Udall, Senior Water and Climate Research Scientist and Scholar at the Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University, will turn back the clock to illustrate how the Colorado River got to its over-allocation diet and will relate that history to current events concerning the low reservoir levels at Powell and Mead.

10:50    Can Ag Be Efficient, Can Ag Be Sustained? - Dr. Perry Cabot, Research Scientist and Extension Specialist, Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University, digs into the topics that have everyone hoping that ag
efficiency and conservation can save the day without losing ag in the process. He will also explain the nuances
between conservation and efficiency.

11:30    The Colorado Basin Can't Afford to Lose Ag - Aaron Citron, Project Manager and Attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund's Colorado River Project, based in Boulder, Colorado, addresses the view from the
environmental community that the buying and drying of agriculture is a sure way to wither more than the land.

Noon     Guest Speaker Kevin Fedarko - the author will speak on his book, The Emerald Mile, The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon, and his current concerns for survival of the Grand Canyon as we know it.

1:45  The Colorado River System Conservation Program: What Is It? - Marc Waage, Manager of Resource Planning for Denver Water, will report on how the Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority are partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to contribute $11 million to fund pilot Colorado River water conservation projects.

2:15   Harvesting the Water: A Western Colorado Perspective - Mark Harris, Manager of the Grand Valley Water Users Association in Mesa County, surveys the landscape of water banking, ag conservation and what the future portends for agriculture in Western Colorado.

2:45    Panel Discussion: Interpreting What We've Heard - Chris Treese, External Affairs Manager of the Colorado
River District, will moderate a panel that includes speakers Brad Udall, Perry Cabot, Aaron Citron, Marc Waage and Mark Harris. They will be joined by two agriculture producers, Dixie Luke of the North Fork and John Harold of the Uncompahgre.
The video recording will be made available through this website immediately upon availability. 


Recap of our 2013 Annual Water Seminar
"Shrinking in Supply - Growing in Demand"
Program titles are linked to a pdf of the stated presentation.
The terms "Video Footage" are linked to videos on YouTube. 

Change: It is for Certain
2013 seminar image Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District GM provides an insightful overview of troubling trends leading to alarming issues such as: 
     diminishing snowpack
     declining storage in and operational changes to critical Lake Powell

Video Footage

It's True: Spring is killing our Rocky Mountain Snowpack
Greg Pederson, U.S. Geological Survey lead author shares his study findings confirming concerns many have had for years: snowpack, Colorado's primary water source, is declining
Video Footage

Level With Us: Whither Lake Powell
2013 seminar image Malcolm Wilson, Chief, Water Resources Group, Upper Colorado Region of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation explains the record setting drought-induced decision to reduce water releases in 2014 from Lake Powell to Lake Mead and the potential concern for the millions who depend on the Colorado River

Video Footage

A Dry Subject: Drought and a Look Ahead
Aldis Strautins, Service Hydrologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office, Grand Junction, describes the complex, developing atmospheric conditions and what they may indicate for snowfall this winter. Link to Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) as reference:
Video footage

The Las Vegas Story: What Happens in Vegas is Not Staying in Vegas
2013 seminar image John Entsminger, Senior Deputy General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, will talk about how climate change and reduced water deliveries to Lake Mead have put Las Vegas water planners on edge.
For a preview of the issue, watch this interview with Mr. Entsminger's boss, Pat Mulroy.
-From News3 Las Vegas-
-From the Las Vegas Sun-

Video Footage

Putting Conservation on the Table: The Sterling Ranch
Harold Smethills, Principal and Managing Director of Sterling Ranch, and Beorn Courtney, Director of Water Resources Engineering, Headwaters Corporation, describe the Water Conservation Plan for Sterling Ranch, a new community south of Denver. The plan involves several projects that integrate water demand management with water supply planning and include clustering homes, water efficient landscaping and rain water collection.

Video Footage

The Colorado Water Plan: A Call and Response

2013 seminar image James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), discusses Gov. Hickenlooper's recent Executive Order directing the development of a long-term Colorado Water Plan (CWP) and the challenges of implementing water supply solutions that meet Colorado's future water needs

Video Footage

A Response From Both Sides of the Continental Divide: How Does This Play Out
The Colorado Water Plan is to leverage and integrate nine years of work by Colorado's Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee and the CWCB.

A panel discussion will be conducted by Basin Roundtable representatives:
  • Colorado Basin Chair, Jim Pokrandt
  • Gunnison Basin Chair, Michelle Pierce
  • Metro Roundtable Chair, Mark Koleber
  • South Platte Basin Former Chair, Joe Frank
  • Southwest Basin Chair, Mike Preston
  • Yampa-White-Green Basin Chair, Tom Gray
Video Footage

Colorado River District seminar to focus on dwindling snowpack,
state water plan and Lake Powell woes
Since the 1980s, warmer spring temperatures in the Rocky Mountain region have been melting the snowpack earlier, with increasing temperatures tabbed as the main factor in the decline, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The agency carefully tracks streamflows and snowpack measurements, with decades of data now showing clear trends toward shorter winters, earlier spring runoff and an overall 20 percent shrinkage of the snowpack in the mountains of the western U.S. The researchers say at least part of the changes are due to global warming caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases, but that natural variability is also a factor. Regardless of the exact cause, the snowpack decline is already causing major headaches for water managers in the region facing dwindling supplies and increased demand.
-Coverage at Summit Voice-

Recap of our 2012 Annual Water Seminar: "The Past, Present and Future"

KEYNOTE:  Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water & Science, Department of the Interior

Colorado River water shortages - what's being done
Past: Our legacy - Water Wranglers - The 75-year History of the Colorado River District: A Story About the Embattled Colorado River and the Growth of the West
by George Sibley

Present: 2012 Drought - the challenges continue
-Agenda, Program, Press Release and Registration Form-

PowerPoint Presentations:

Wildfires: How They Start, The Fight, and the Aftermath
Chris Barth, Fire Mitigation Specialist/Public Information Officer
Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit

Colorado River Basin Supply & Demand Study
Carly Jera & Kay Brothers, Co-Study Managers

Colorado Works Through an Epic Drought; The Facts of the Matter
Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist, Colorado State University

Colorado River Basin Study - Conservation Organization Perspective
Jennifer Pitt, Colorado River Project Director, Environmental Defense Fund

Interview of author George Sibley by Eric Kuhn and Jim Pokrandt

Press Coverage: KREX  KKCO

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