Grand Junction: #ColoradoRiver District Annual Seminar, September 16 #COriver

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From the Colorado River District via The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

The Colorado River District’s one-day annual water seminar arrives Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Two Rivers Convention Center.

This year’s meeting comes amid new widespread focus on the Colorado River, and its sustainability. The meeting’s theme this year is “Colorado River Waves of the Future: Fitting the West to the River’s New Normal,” organizers said.

Cost of the seminar, which includes lunch, is $30 if preregistered; $40 at the door. More registration information can be found at ColoradoRiverDistrict.org.

Keynoting the lunchtime program will be journalist Abrahm Lustgarten, who authored a western water news series that examined how Colorado River water is put to use in agriculture and by cities.

The controversial work was adapted to a Discovery Channel film, now streaming at the channel’s site online. Lustgarten writes for the website ProPublica and his work has been published in the New York Times as well as other places.

In the main program, speakers will address how water leaders in the seven states on the Colorado River are addressing ways to adapt their use of the river to deal with low storage levels at lakes Powell and Mead through techniques that reduce demands. Speakers will then discuss Colorado-specific challenges such as the confusion over the “use it or lose it” doctrine in Colorado water law and how the new Colorado Water Plan can be put into action, especially with financial obstacles before it.

Other planned seminar highlights:

9:45 a.m. — “How the Lower Basin is Attacking the Structural Deficit,” Suzanne Ticknor, Central Arizona Project — Low reservoir levels at Lake Mead are forcing Arizona, California and Nevada to plan for reduced water draws, to fit water use to water supply. The “structural deficit” is 1.2 million acre-feet.

1:45 p.m. — “Use It or Lose It – Separating Truth, Myth and Reality,” Retired Justice Greg Hobbs, Senior Water Judge, Colorado Supreme Court — How to properly exercise and protect water rights is wrapped up in a hot and topical discussion of what’s waste, what’s not and what does “Use It or Lose It” really mean.

2:30 p.m. — “Colorado’s Water Plan – What Now?” A panel discussion with Colorado Water Conservation Board Director James Eklund; Colorado State Representative Don Coram and Anne Castle, former U.S. assistant secretary of the Interior and now fellow with the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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