Colorado State’s Water Center Hosts Opportunity to Hear from State and National Leaders About the Future of the State’s Water Supply

Colorado State University’s Water Center is hosting a discussion of water use in Colorado related to legislation to meet the state’s future water supply needs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom on campus. Speakers include Rep. Mark Udall and Don Ament, the state’s commissioner of agriculture.

The event will provide an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of water issues and water roundtables held across the state in response to the Interbasin Compacts bill, or House Bill 1177. The event, open to the public, will be of particular benefit to water right owners, government officials and water management professionals such as water engineers, lawyers, ecologists and hydrologists. Speakers at the event will examine rapid changes taking place in society and the resulting impacts and pressures those changes place on Colorado’s limited water resources. During the day, speakers will focus on establishing common points and suggesting ways to facilitate constructive discussions about future Colorado water supplies.

Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley will open the meeting. The agenda includes:

–     A status update about the water roundtable discussions being held around the state.

–     Discussion about the role the federal government could play in the roundtable discussions.

–     Information about how dialogue and negotiation have solved other historical water conflicts.

–     A presentation on the agriculture industry, Western Slope population and urban population’s differing perspectives about constructive dialogue among competitors for Colorado’s water.

Speakers throughout the day include Udall, Gunnison-area Rep. Kathleen Curry, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs, Ament, Colorado State professor James Pritchett and Mark Squillace, director of the University of Colorado’s Natural Resources Law Center. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Rep. Bob Beauprez have been invited to speak at the event as well.

"Resolving water disputes and conflicts, in mutually acceptable ways, is of increasing interest to many Colorado citizens and the Colorado Legislature, as witnessed by passage of the Interbasin Compacts Bill in the 2005 session," said Robert Ward, director of the Water Center at Colorado State University. "In the spirit of enhancing water communication in Colorado, Colorado State University – with its long and rich traditions in water education, research and outreach – is organizing this one-day water dialogue. We anticipate that this event will help foster constructive dialogue in the water roundtables currently being organized and initiated in Colorado."

For a complete agenda or to register for the event, visit Registration is $50. Pre-registration is encouraged due to limited seating, but registration at the door is available.