Water year 2021 was a wake-up call for water users across the Western Slope of Colorado. Extreme or exceptional drought conditions persisted for months as dry soils and historic high temperatures lowered streamflow. Agricultural users faced impossible choices while local municipalities dealt with aging water infrastructure in the wake of devastating wildfires. Downstream, Lake Powell dominated national headlines with plummeting levels, and the Drought Contingency Plan played a role years earlier than most expected.
Yet many of the stories which came out of this incredibly difficult year were ones of innovative solutions and never-before-seen partnerships. Collaborative projects upgraded irrigation infrastructure, increased streamflow, and even delisted 66 river miles from the Impaired Waters list.
Setting historic precedents in hydrology, 2021 also did much to highlight the ability of water users to reach across their differences in order to build a future for West Slope water together.
Wake-up Call on the Colorado River is a seminar which will face the harsh economic and environmental realities of this past year, along with a study of practical solutions and future collaboration.
Masks required indoors for all in-person attendees at Colorado Mesa University.
Unique Simulcast Collaboration Across the Divide with the Getches-Wilkinson Center Offers More.
This year’s seminar will be a hybrid event with in-person and virtual attendance options, as well as simulcast panels and keynote speakers in partnership with the Getches-Wilkinson Center at University of Colorado Law.
Wake-Up Call on the Colorado River Keynote Speakers 10/1:
Tanya Trujillo– Dept. Of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
Jack Schmidt– Director of the Center for Colorado River Studies
Michael Connor– Partner WhilmerHale, former Deputy Secretary, Department of Interior.- Simulcast from the GWC***
Additionally, ALL registered attendees (in-person or virtual) will be given livestreaming access to the Getches-Wilkinson’s Center’s Annual Colorado Law Conference on Natural Resources: Equity in the Colorado River Basin: How to Sustainably Manage a Shrinking Resource. A special livestream link will be emailed to all attendees for GWC’s Thursday conference session. More info here.
Click Here to Register for Virtual OR In-Person Attendance
2021 Annual Water Seminar Agenda
Wake-Up Call on the Colorado River
*** Indicates simulcasting with the Getches-Wilkinson Center
- 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Morning Session
- 9:00 a.m. Welcome
Marti Whitmore, Colorado River District Board Of Directors President
- 9:10 a.m. State of the River District
Andy Mueller, Colorado River District General Manager
- 9:00 a.m. Welcome
- 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Happy (Water) New Year: A Trans-Mountain Hydrology Discussion
- Dr. Gigi Richard, Director, Four Corners Water Center & Instructor of Geosciences
- Brad Udall, Senior Water and Climate Research Scientist/Scholar at Colorado State University***
- 10:45 a.m. -11:45 a.m. Morning Keynote: Federal Perspectives on Big River Questions
- Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary of Water & Science for the Department of the Interior
- 11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Lunch Transition
(In-person attendees can choose from catered ‘box lunch’ options to eat outside on the terrace.)
- 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunchtime Keynote
- Dr. Jack C. Schmidt, Director, Center for Colorado River Studies
- 1:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Afternoon Session
- 1:15 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Strange Bedfellows: A 7a Snapshot
- Zane Kessler, Colorado River District Director of Government Relations
- Kathy Chandler-Henry, Eagle County Commissioner
- 1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Community Funding Partnership: Moving Ideas to Action Panel
- Sonja Chavez, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District General Manager
- Ed Moyer, Grand County Manager
- Jonathan Godes, Glenwood Springs Mayor
- Amy Moyer, Colorado River District Director of Strategic Partnerships – Moderator
- 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Afternoon Keynote: Infrastructure, Resilience, Equity, & Change***
- Michael Connor, Partner WhilmerHale, former Deputy Secretary, Department of Interior ***
- 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. The Economics of Drought Panel
- David Dragoo, Founder, Mayfly Outdoors
- Terry Fankhauser, Rancher/Executive Vice President, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association
- Audrey Gehlhausen, President, Billy Goat Hop Farm, LLC
- Becky Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board
- Andy Mueller, General Manager – Moderator
- 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Beer & Wine Happy Hour on the Terrace