U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, State Legislators to Discuss Colorado Drought Pathways

The Colorado River District’s Annual Seminar provides public engagement with decision-makers on durable water solutions.

Friday, September 15, 2023 

Grand Junction, Colorado — On Friday, September 22, the Colorado River District will welcome U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, State Senator Dylan Roberts, and State Representative Marc Catlin to the stage at the 2023 Annual Water Seminar in Grand Junction.

As the afternoon keynote speaker, Senator Bennet will address the priorities and progress of the Farm Bill in 2023. The 2023 Farm Bill will outline the next five years’ spending for national conservation, food, farm, and nutrition programs. Within the Farm Bill, the Conservation Program contains many of the programs that Western Colorado agricultural producers rely on to modernize irrigation and increase efficiency, and also plays a critical role in counteracting the impacts of drought.

Additionally, a morning seminar session will feature an armchair conversation between Colorado Senator Dylan Roberts, Representative Marc Catlin, and Colorado River District staff. The panel will dive into crucial questions about how we can effectively champion West Slope water interests in upcoming state legislative conversations, particularly concerning stream restoration, conservation, and drought resilience.

“We need to be having difficult and honest conversations about how we protect our water resources in a way that is sustainable and equitable for all Coloradans,” said Senator Dylan Roberts. “Water is always a top priority for the legislature, so it’s imperative that West Slope communities and water users be at the table for those conversations.”

The panel will also explore the genesis of the Colorado River Drought Task Force during the 2023 legislative session, and will discuss the importance of a unified, state-level delegation when it comes to water issues and efforts to inform the upcoming 2024 session. This includes potential recommendations from the Task Force, the introduction of new conservation tools, and strategies for drought resilience, such as turf removal and conservation incentives at the state level.

“Having tough conversations about water is crucial, but we must enter those conversations with the primary goal of doing no harm,” said Rep. Marc Catlin, Vice Chair of the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Water Committee. “Water is the backbone of our great state, and by rolling up our sleeves and tackling issues head-on, we’re safeguarding West Slope water for generations to come.”

Attendees are encouraged to engage in Q&A with these elected officials at the Annual Water Seminar to better examine the critical topic of drought resilience and how to prepare for a hotter, drier future. The full agenda for The Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar entitled ‘Wanted: Durable Solutions on the Colorado River,’ is available on our website at https://www.coloradoriverdistrict.org/annual-water-seminar-2023.

Register for the event to secure your spot HERE. Early registration closes at midnight on Monday, September 18. Walk-in, day-of registration is available for $45.


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