2017 Water Seminar  

Themed “Points of No Return,” the 2017 seminar highlighted some of the toughest issues facing the Colorado River and the more than 40 million people who rely on its water. The seminar’s program featured presentations and panel discussions with a variety of water experts focusing on agriculture and irrigation issues, Upper and Lower Basin drought contingency planning, collaborative conservation efforts, and more.

The Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar was held on Friday, September 15th in Grand Junction, Colorado and was attended by record-breaking numbers. 

Program Highlights

Click image to read presentation 

SALTON SEA: THE LOWER BASIN’S DROUGHT PLANNING IS CAUGHT IN NOT-SO-QUICK SANDS

Bill Hasencamp, Manager, Colorado River Resources, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Addressed one of the many complexities for the Lower Colorado River Basin by presenting on the challenges of the Salton Sea and the Bay-Delta. Video of presentation.

THE UPPER BASIN IS WATCHING 

Eric Kuhn, General Manager, Colorado River District 

Eric Kuhn, at his last seminar on staff, shared his memoirs and well-studied perspectives. His legacy includes many durable agreements that have brought peace to the once turbulent Colorado River; and spoke on the many lessons learned and of the uncertain future of the water in the west. Video of presentation.

LUNCH PROGRAM: “FILL MEAD FIRST?” 

Keynoting Dr. Jack Schmidt, Utah State University and former Glen Canyon Monitoring and Research Center Director,  gave a critical analysis of a controversial proposal to drain Lake Powell and fill Lake Mead first. Although the proposal is touted as a way to open up the submerged Glen Canyon, reduce evaporation and thereby increase water supply, Schmidt’s analysis raised serious questions about the technical viability. Video of presentation. 

RETURN FLOWS: IRRIGATION EFFICIENCY GOES UP, THEY GO DOWN

Colorado ranchers, Don Schwindt of Cortez and Bill Trampe of Gunnison were joined by Dave Kanzer of the Colorado River District, to discuss how the move to irrigation efficiency equipment can have both desired benefits and unintended consequences, especially to late season streamflows. Video of presentations.

FIXING THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER

Grand County collaborators Paul Bruchez, Mely Whiting and Lurline Curran shared good news about the healthy transformations on the Upper Colorado River. Video of presentations.

A RIVER OF WORDS: WHY IS SO MUCH BEING WRITTEN ABOUT THE COLORADO RIVER SYSTEM?

Authors Heather Hansman and Eric Kuhn discussed their respective upcoming books on the Green River and the Colorado River. Video of discussions.  

A NEW DIRECTOR, THE SAME CHALLENGES AT THE COLORADO WATER CONSERVATION BOARD 

Newly named Director Becky Mitchell of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Board members John McClow and Heather Dutton discussed the current water picture and how to move ahead on solving Colorado’s water challenges. Video of discussions.

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