Media Advisory: Water Symposium draws 30 speakers, 375+ participants

Note to the Media:
A limited number of individual interviews with Secretary Vilsack are available in advance of the Symposium, 4/23-4/25. Media passes are available for the Symposium, including opportunities to interview speakers individually, as scheduled in advance. Please contact Tiana Nelson at to schedule interviews or to reserve a media pass.

Contact for reporters: 
Tiana Nelson
(303) 376-2613


Current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are among the experts joining Colorado State University’s inaugural Water in the West Symposium on April 26-27, 2018, at McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver. This will be Secretary Perdue’s first visit to Colorado.

The Symposium, hosted by CSU, will bring more than 375 participants and 30 leading water authorities from across the nation to speak to the future of water in the Western region.

“When you think about water and the variety of uses that we put water to, it’s an amazing natural resource and something obviously that life depends on,” said Vilsack, who joined CSU as a special advisor on the National Western Center project in April 2017, and has been key to visioning the Symposium.

The Symposium will seek to understand water issues from a multidisciplinary perspective and set the stage for the research, policy work, and outreach focus for the future Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed on the new National Western Center campus, and will address topics such as:

  • Research and innovation in water across sectors
  • Financing water projects
  • Federal perspectives on Western water issues
  • Connections between food, energy, and water in the West

Registration and a complete agenda is available at

General admission is $325; the government and nonprofit rate is $175. Online registration runs through April 25. Day-of registration is also available.

A full list of the more than 30 Symposium speakers is available at, including:

  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
  • Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • U.S. Senator Michael Bennet
  • Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Jim Lochhead, CEO and Manager, Denver Water
  • Tom Halverson, President and CEO, CoBank
  • Mike Reidy, Senior Vice President, Leprino Foods
  • Becky Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board
  • Bruce Karas, Vice President of Sustainability, Coca-Cola North America
  • Ted Kowalski, Director of the Colorado Water Initiative, Walton Family Foundation
  • Gili Elkin, General Partner, Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund
  • Former Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis
  • Colorado Gubernatorial candidates

Sponsors include Denver Water, CoBank, Leprino Foods, Zoma Capital, Molson Coors, CSU Office of the Vice President for Research, Business for Water Stewardship, Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center, Coca-Cola, Hach, New Belgium Brewing, Barn Media, Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels, Water Foundry, and Kaiser Permanente.