South Platte Forum Slated for October; Addresses Emerging Contaminant Issues

The 16th Annual South Platte Forum will address issues on the quality, use and future of the South Platte River and will focus on emerging contaminants. The forum, "From the Headwaters, Through the Urban Kidney, to the State Line – This is a Hard-Working River," is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Radisson Conference Center in Longmont, 1900 Ken Pratt Blvd.

"The South Platte River has a myriad of complex issues to be balanced to meet the needs of the many users," said Don Kennedy, South Platte Forum chair. "The South Platte Forum brings everyone to the table for frank, open discussions on the issues facing the basin. This year, we’ve dedicated the second day of the forum to the very new topic of emerging contaminants in water."

The South Platte River primarily flows through Colorado, but also through parts of Wyoming and Nebraska. The headwaters of the South Platte are in Colorado’s central mountains at the Continental Divide; it flows east and north through Denver and Colorado’s Front Range, before veering to the northeast out of Greeley to North Platte, Neb. Along this 450 mile path, the river is used for recreational uses, travels through the state’s largest city and feeds Colorado’s agricultural fields along the plains.

The opening morning of the forum will include an overview of issues affecting the river and watershed; the impact of wildfires on water quality, including specific information about post-fire efforts and impacts near Cheesman Reservoir; the ecological restoration of South Platte headwater wetlands; and the South Platte Protection Plan.

Additional topics for the day include water quality issues related to pharmaceuticals; water supply updates and statewide water supply initiative recommendations; renewable water; weather and climate impacts on water supply; water conservation; and a legislative overview.  

The second day of the forum focus on emerging contaminants including micropollutants; wasterwater plant concerns and perspectives; environmental projects; municipal use of the South Platte; the ecological exposure, effects and risk management of chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the river; the effects of pollutants on aquatic life; antibiotic pollutants; species recovery programs; and native fish.

     The Consortium for Research and Education on Emerging Contaminants is holding a special bonus session the afternoon of Oct. 27 for discussion and research presentations from government agencies, utility groups and university experts about emerging contaminants.

     During the forum, Sakata Farms Inc. will be presented with the second annual Friends of the South Platte award.

     The South Platte River Forum is sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, city of Aurora, Denver Water, Parker Water and Sanitation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

     Registration will be available at the door, but advanced registration is suggested due to limited space. Registration is $115.

For more information or to register, visit or e-mail