Media Tip Sheet: Drought-Related Experts and Resources at Colorado State University

Note to Editors: In response to continued concern about drought and the Colorado Legislature’s current focus on drought issues, Colorado State is providing the following list of drought-related experts and information about university research centers that focus on water and weather. The tip sheet is intended to provide resources to the media and not as contact information for the public.

Drought, Municipal Water Management and Water Quality Issues

Robert Ward, director of the Water Center at Colorado State University and director of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, is available to discuss drought and related municipal water management and water quality monitoring issues. Ward also can address wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control and water systems engineering and design. Ward has co-authored two books about water management and currently serves on The National Water Quality Monitoring Council and consults around the world on water quality monitoring issues. To speak with Ward, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Lawsuits, Drilling and other Legal Issues relating to Drought

Lawsuits against the state of Colorado may curtail residents’ access to water in the Arkansas, South Platte and Republican River basins. A recent Supreme Court case may limit the amount of water that can be pumped from wells in some river basins, complicating matters even more for farmers. In the southeast, western slope and south central regions of the state, coal bed methane development for natural gas wells is drawing down the water table in places, while causing water to run on the surface where it has not in the past. Reagan Waskom, Colorado State Cooperative Extension water resources specialist, can discuss all of these and related water issues and how they might accentuate the effects of drought in Colorado. To speak with Waskom, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Drought Management and Government Water Resources Planning

Neil Grigg, civil engineering professor and renowned water resources engineering consultant, can discuss drought management, government water resources planning, western water management issues, water system infrastructure engineering, flood control and urban water systems management. Grigg has authored or co-authored about 200 publications and several books about water resources engineering and infrastructure. To speak with Grigg, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Grey Water Systems Design and Urban Water Resource Management

Larry Roesner, professor of civil engineering, has more than 30 years of professional experience in water resources and water quality engineering and management. He is a nationally recognized expert in the development and application of hydrologic, hydraulic and water quality simulation models. His areas of expertise include urban water infrastructure systems, sustainable urban water resource systems and improved urban stormwater management. Roesner also can address grey water issues, such as plumbing homes to allow recycled bath, sink and laundry water to be used for outdoor irrigation. To speak with Roesner, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Drought Impacts on Colorado Tourism

Bob Aukerman, professor of natural resources recreation and tourism, has estimated sales across the tourism and recreation industry were down at least 20 percent last summer in Colorado, a $1.7 billion loss. Aukerman and a team of graduate students surveyed businesses and combined the information with other data for the report which concluded that not only did tourists stay away, but Colorado residents also chose to spend their recreation dollars elsewhere. To speak with Aukerman, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Drought Impacts Bears and other Wildlife

Bill Andelt, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist, can discuss how wildlife and their habitats are affected by drought and related forest fires, and how the animals will continue to adjust to these conditions throughout the year. He also can discuss how those impacts translate to wildlife behavior and provide wildlife encounter tips for people. Andelt can discuss both predator and prey animals. To speak with Andelt, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Cloud Seeding

William Cotton, professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State, is an expert in the areas of clouds and storm systems, including cloud seeding. As part of his research, Cotton authored a groundbreaking research paper on the use and effectiveness of cloud seeding and co-authored the book, "Human Impacts on Weather and Climate," which describes cloud-seeding principles. According to Cotton, "We have seen that, with few exceptions, the scientific evidence is not conclusive that cloud seeding is causing the desired results. Cloud seeding may increase precipitation, but it is very modest. It’s not going to be a drought-breaker." To speak with Cotton, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Winter Watering for Lawns, Gardens and Landscapes following Drought

Jim Klett, Colorado State University horticulture and landscape architecture Cooperative Extension specialist, can talk about how to best care for trees, shrubs and gardens throughout the winter following last year’s drought-ridden summer. To speak with Klett contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Tony Koski, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and horticulture professor, can discuss winter and spring lawn care tips for drought conditions, such as fertilizer and watering recommendations. To speak with Koski, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or

Irrigation and Optimization of Agricultural Water Resource Systems

Timothy Gates is co-director of the Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management and professor of civil engineering at Colorado State. Gates’ water expertise includes the areas of irrigation and drainage, optimization of water resource systems, shallow groundwater systems and improving water quality in irrigated agriculture. Gates also serves as associate director for the International School for Water Resources and has worked in Egypt, India, Sri Lanka and Australia on irrigation projects. To speak with Gates, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Drought and Fire Impact on Water Run-off

Lee MacDonald, professor of earth resources, can discuss effects of forest management and changes in forest cover on run-off, peak flows, low flows and annual water yields. He can also discuss effects of prescribed fire and wildfires on run-off and erosion and the effectiveness of burned area emergency rehabilitation techniques. To speak with MacDonald, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Colorado and National Climate Experts

Roger Pielke Sr., atmospheric scientist, climatologist for the state of Colorado and president of the American Association of State Climatologists, is available to discuss drought and drought-related weather processes. Pielke can discuss drought’s cyclical effects on snowpack, mountain runoff, streamflow, reservoir storage and water supply. He can address how seasonal weather patterns create dry conditions, the affect of atmospheric conditions on precipitation and how climate change can lead to or mitigate drought. To speak with Pielke, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss drought, weather observation, weather instruments, historical climate data, descriptive climatology, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 25 years of professional experience in weather research monitoring, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of drought and other climate-related questions. To speak with Doesken, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

DroughtLab Provides Research, Information and Advice

Colorado State’s new DroughtLab brings together the knowledge of more than 100 researchers from 22 academic departments. The collaborative drought analysis and management laboratory redirects current resources and establishes new studies to provide information to government leaders, businesses and individuals as they plan for and manage drought events. DroughtLab researchers are initially focusing on three key areas: drought analysis and characterization; drought impacts and consequences; and drought response and management. To speak with DroughtLab experts, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

The Water Center Addresses Multiple Aspects of Water, Drought and Resource Issues

The Water Center brings together a wealth of water-related knowledge with expertise from 25 different departments at Colorado State to form a group of educators and researchers focused on water resources issues. The center’s multidisciplinary approach allows water resources professionals to collaborate and develop solutions to environmental, critical water supply and hazard reduction issues. Additional information about the Water Center can be found on the Web at For more information about the Water Center or to speak with one of its experts, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

CWRRI Focuses the Expertise of Higher Education on Colorado’s Water Concerns

The Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, or CWRRI, is an affiliate of Colorado State University that focuses the water expertise of higher education on Colorado’s water concerns and problems. The CWRRI develops partnerships between university water expertise and Colorado water managers to develop, implement and coordinate water-related research programs. Additional information about CWRRI can be found on the Web at To speak with CWRRI experts, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or

The Colorado Climate Center Houses the State’s Weather Experts

The Colorado Climate Center provides information and expertise on weather and climate patterns and provides outreach to the public as well as complete analyses of Colorado’s weather. Through its threefold program of climate monitoring, climate research and climate services, the center provides climate information on the Web at The climate center is housed in the university’s Department of Atmospheric Science. For more information about the Colorado Climate Center, contact Brad Bohlander at (970) 491-1545 or