WATER LINES: Water Seminar Sept. 13 in GJ to highlight critical Colo. River issues | PostIndependent.com

WATER LINES: Water Seminar Sept. 13 in GJ to highlight critical Colo. River issues


It’s $30 if you preregister; $40 at the door (check and cash only); $10 for students. The cost includes lunch. Details at http://www.crwcd.org/ or by calling 970-945-8522.

Public surveys conducted by the Colorado River District confirm what many of us already know: Western Coloradans treasure the Colorado River. As well they should given that the river provides drinking water, food, recreation and an economy for the region. If the Colorado were not so mighty, many of us would be living elsewhere. And this does not even take into account the rest of Mother Nature.

However, long-term drought and climate change are taking their toll on a river that is tasked with serving more than 30 million people in the Southwest, with more on their way.

These challenges will be examined at the Colorado River District’s annual Water Seminar titled “Shrinking in Supply, Growing in Demand,” which is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Two Rivers Convention Center. The cost is $30 and includes lunch. Students may attend for $10. Register at http://www.ColoradoRiverDistrict.org or by contacting Meredith Spyker at 970-945-8522 or mspyker@crwcd.org.

The seminar is an easy, one-day presentation of the latest hot subjects that challenge the Colorado River and how science, politics and other actions seek to address them.

Here is the line-up of topic:

Change: It is for Certain

Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District general manager, provides an insightful overview of troubling trends leading to alarming issues such as: drought, diminishing snowpack and declining storage in and operational changes to critical Lake Powell.

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.

A Dry Subject: Drought and a Look Ahead

Klaus Wolter, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences – CU Boulder NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, and one of Southwest’s preeminent forecasters, describes the complex, developing atmospheric conditions and what they may indicate for snowfall (AKA water supply) this winter.

Level with Us: Whither Lake Powell

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.

The Las Vegas Story: What Happens in Vegas is Not Staying in Vegas

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.

Putting Conservation on the Table: The Sterling Ranch

Beorn Courtney, director of water resources engineering, Headwaters Corporation, describes 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 includes clustering homes, water-efficient landscaping and rainwater collection.

The Colorado Water Plan: A Call and Response

James Eklund, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, discusses Gov. Hickenlooper’s recent Executive Order directing the development of a long-term Colorado Water Plan and the challenges of implementing water supply solutions that meet Colorado’s future water needs

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: Arkansas Basin Chair Gary Barber; 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.

This is part of a series of articles coordinated by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University in cooperation with the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables to raise awareness about water needs, uses and policies in our region. To learn more about the basin roundtables and statewide water planning, and to let the roundtables know what you think, go to http://www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter.

Jim Pokrandt is the communication and education specialist with the Colorado River District.

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