Colorado State University’s Water Tables 2009 to Focus on Water Conflicts

Colorado State University Libraries will host Water Tables 2009, its annual fundraiser for the Water Resources Archive at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. The event starts with a reception and tour of the Archives at the Library before moving to the Lory Student Center main ballroom for dinner.

The theme of this year’s event is "Compact Issues and Conflict Resolution," with Stewart Environmental Consultants Inc. as the presenting sponsor. Nineteen water experts will host tables discussing relevant topics while a gourmet meal is served. The evening will begin with a reception and open house for the Water Resources Archive in Colorado State’s Morgan Library.

In February 2008, the third annual Water Tables event attracted nearly 200 guests from across the state and raised more than $30,000 for the Water Resources Archive, which preserves materials critical for documenting the state’s water history.

"The evening was enjoyable, and it was a credit to CSU and its library system," noted Ken Wright of Wright Water Engineers, event sponsor and archive donor. "All of the tables had good discussion moderators who had been thoughtfully selected. We are already looking forward to the 2009 Water Tables."

Table hosts and topic discussions for Water Tables 2009 will focus on various aspects of interstate water compacts or other ways of resolving water conflicts. Archival materials on display during the open house will illuminate the history behind these topics. This year’s table hosts and topics are:

Jim Broderick, Director of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District

Topic: Colorado’s Fryingpan-Arkansas Project: conflicts past, present and future

Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist

Topic: Climate variations in Colorado and their role in water conflicts

John Eckhardt, Executive Program Manager for the Imperial Irrigation District

Topic: Compact requirements and third-party impacts of the world’s largest ag-to-urban water transfer

David Freeman, CSU Professor

Topic: Twelve years’ negotiating for habitat within the confines of the 1923 South Platte Compact

Neil Grigg, CSU Professor

Topic: Pecos River master asks "How will we resolve water conflict in a world with 7 billion people?"

John R. Hill, Jr., Lawyer

Topic: Federal reserved rights in Colorado-an historical perspective

Greg Hobbs, Colorado Supreme Court Justice

Topic: Colorado River Compact entitlements-clearing up misconceptions

Dan Keppen, Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance

Topic: Comparing the conflicts irrigated agriculture faces now compared to those faced historically

Ken Knox, Water Resources Engineer

Topic: Republican River Compact-challenges and opportunities

Jim Lochhead, Water Rights Attorney

Topic: Eighty-five years later: how seven Colorado River states carved out an agreement for sharing the drought

Peggy Montano, Lawyer

Topic: Reopen the Colorado River Compact? Over how many dead bodies?

Ken Neubecker, President of Colorado Trout Unlimited

Topic: Conflicting philosophies/evolving law and management: Colorado water yesterday and today

Peter Nichols, Lawyer

Topic: Alternatives to the permanent dry up of irrigated land for municipal use: the "Super Ditch Company"

John Porter, Former General Manager, Dolores Water Conservancy District

Topic: In the West, when you touch water you touch everything

(Wayne Aspinall)

Harris Sherman, Executive Director, and Alex Davis, Assistant Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Topic: As Colorado’s IBCC and the basin roundtables consider our next 50 years from the water perspective, what can we learn from the past to help us better resolve conflict?

Larry Simpson, Former General Manager of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District

Topic: How water law and management in Colorado has migrated around the world

Tom Trout, Research Leader of the Water Management Research Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Table Topic: Evapotranspiration research in support of resolving interstate water compact conflicts

Dick Wolfe, Colorado State Engineer

Table Topic: The future is not what it used to be-learning from the past how to better manage Colorado’s water compacts

Tickets for the event are $125 per person. Proceeds will support the Water Resources Archive, working to preserve, promote and make available records of Colorado’s water history.  

Reservations can be made online at or by calling (970) 491-1833. Reservations will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis; limited seating is available.

For more information about the event contact Jane Barber at (970) 491-5712 or


Sponsors of the event include Stewart Environmental Consultants Inc.; Silver sponsors: AECOM, Applegate Group, Aqua Engineering Inc., Ayres Associates, Black & Veatch, Brown and Caldwell, Colorado River District, Bureau of Reclamation, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Rio Grande Water Conservancy District, Northern Water, Produced Water Development, and URS. Bronze Sponsors: Bratton Hill LLC, Deep Rock Water, Harrison Resource Corporation, HDR, Hilton Fort Collins, Odell Brewing Company, Rubicon Systems, Mr and Mrs Robert Ward, and Wright Water Engineers.