Former Gov. Ritter, Environmental Scientists to Participate in CSU Water Cafe on Thursday, Feb. 9

Water is one natural resource that will be at the forefront of defining a healthy future. Recognizing the importance of dialog and planning on this topic, the Colorado State University Water Center and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability will host the CSU Water Café, starting with a panel on Thursday, Feb. 9, featuring former Gov. Bill Ritter and a host of environmental experts at CSU.

Water Café is an interdisciplinary, interactive series designed to examine critical water issues and the University’s roles in their solutions. The first event on Thursday will feature an interdisciplinary panel discussing water and energy from 1-3:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Senate Chambers.

Members of the panel include:

• Former Gov. Ritter, now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy
• Ken Carlson, co-coordinator, Colorado Water Energy Consortium, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
• John Labadie, professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Sally Sutton, department head, Department of Geosciences.
• James Pritchett, department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
• Mark Paschke, Shell Endowed Chair in Restoration Ecology, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

The panel will be moderated by Neil Grigg, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Water Café sessions will create synergy among the greater CSU community with faculty groups working on topics related to water and sustainability issues to identify opportunities for university advancement in research, student activities, and outreach.

“People who follow the news know that energy is a critical issue, but they might not connect the dots on the importance of water in generating energy or how energy use can impact water resources,” Grigg said. “Water and energy are bound together, and we will be developing a research strategy to help the nation solve the puzzle.”

The next Water Café is planned for Feb. 29 from 1-5 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Senate Chambers. The session, titled “Exploring Sustainability in Our Own Backyard: The Cache la Poudre Watershed,” will feature two panel discussions, one focused on community stakeholders and another on CSU’s role in advancing water research and conservation in Northern Colorado.

Two additional Water Café sessions are planned for Spring 2012 in March and April and will focus on water issues surrounding sustainability and food. For complete details on upcoming Water Cafés, go to

About the CSU Water Center

The Water Center at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins serves as a focal point to coordinate, leverage and enhance water related research, teaching and outreach at Colorado State University. There are 22 departments at Colorado State University that house more than 100 faculty members who apply their disciplines to water issues and problems. The faculty teach more than 150 water-related courses at the senior and graduate levels. In addition, CSU faculty and staff are engaged in solving water resources problems across the globe. The Water Center is housed in the Engineering Building room E102. For more information on the Water Center go to

About the School of Global Environmental Sustainability

A first for the state, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability encompasses all sustainability (society, economics and environment) education and research at Colorado State University. The school positions CSU to address the multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular programs and outreach initiatives. The school’s emphases include food security, environmental institutions and governance, sustainable communities, land and water resources, biodiversity, conservation and management, climate change and energy. This approach capitalizes on the university’s historic strength in environmental research and education and builds upon the education and research that already exists within all eight colleges on campus from the Warner College of Natural Resources to the College of Business. For more information on SoGES, go to