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Western Colorado's Selective University

2017 Upper Colorado Forum

2017 Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum: Stories from the Field

Draft Program (v. 9/18/17), with abstracts and biographies - In progress


November 1

8:15  Keynote – Brian Richter, President, Sustainable Waters
         Abstract     Biography

9:15  Building a Better Understanding of Snow and Water Supply

  • NASA’s SnowEx Campaign in the Upper Colorado
    Edward Kim, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Abstract     Biography     
  • Assessing the robustness of spring snowpack as a drought indicator in the Upper Colorado River Basin under future climate change
    Ben Livneh, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
    Abstract    Biography

10:00  Historical Perspective: How did first generation Colorado River negotiators understand hydrology?
           Eric Kuhn, Colorado River District

10:30     Break

10:45 Bridging Science and Decision Making on Water Supply: Managing for Drought

Moderator: Steve Fletcher, Fire Mountain Canal and Reservoir Company

  • Characterizing drought risk management, information use and response strategies of West Slope water managers
    Rebecca Page and Lisa Dilling, Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado Boulder
    Abstract     Biography
  • How and why Upper Colorado River Basin water, land and fire managers choose to use drought tools (or not)
    Amanda E. Cravens, US Geological Survey  

11:30 Water Supply Vulnerabilities to Climate Change
  • Central Utah Water Conservancy District Climate Study
    Speaker TBA
  • Climate change implications for Denver’s water supply
    Laurna Kaatz, Denver Water

12:10     Lunch/ Poster Session

1:40 Beyond Snow: Vegetation Interactions with Water Supply

  • River-connected mountain meadows: Assessing resilience and ecosystem services of headwater wetlands across a disturbance gradient
    Tristan Weiss, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
    Abstract    Biography
  • Assessing the potential impacts of invasive species water use on the Lower Colorado River
    Tom Ryan, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
    Abstract    Biography
  • Riparian plant guilds along the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers
    Erin Cubley, Department of Ecology, Colorado State University

2:45  Panel: Orchard Mesa Ditch Improvements to Benefit Endangered Fish and Water Users
  • Tom Chart, Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

  • Brett Uilenburg, US Bureau of Reclamation

  • Max Schmidt, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District

3:30        Break

3:45  Panel: Revitalizing and Reconnecting Riverside Communities through Art, Civic Engagement and Commerce
Abstract    Biographies

  • Stacy Beaugh, Tamarisk Coalition (moderator)
  • Brian Mahoney, Colorado Riverfront Commission and Foundation
  • Cindy Enos-Martinez, Rio Initiative and Riverside Community Center
  • Traci Wieland, City of Grand Junction
  • Thaddeus Shrader, Bonsai Design

4:45 Head to Edgewater Brewing or community room at the Botanical Gardens for Reception (Sunset is 6:30)

November 2

8:00  Keynote: John Fleck, Director of the University of New Mexico's Water Resources Program and author of Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths about Water in the West
Abstract     Biography

9:00 Panel: State of the Colorado River and Implications for Upper Basin States

  • Rebecca Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board

  • Steve Wolff, Administrator, Interstate Streams Division, Wyoming State Engineer's Office

  • Eric Millis, Director, Utah Division of Water Resources

  • Rolf Schmidt Petersen, Acting Colorado Bureau Chief, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission

10:20  Drought Contingency Planning: Connections between the Upper and Lower Basins and Mexico
           Amy Haas, Deputy Executive Director and General Council, Upper Colorado River Commission
Abstract     Biography

10:45 Break

11:00 Innovations in Agricultural Water Use

Moderator: Perry Cabot, Colorado Water Institute  Biography

  • Efficient Irrigation and the Myth of Water Conservation: Misconceptions from the Field
    Paul Kehmeier, Farmer and Field Trial Cooperator
    Abstract    Biography

  • Eagle County Conservation District’s Irrigation Asset Inventory Program: an innovative approach for engaging the agricultural community
    Brendon Langenhuizen, SGM and Scott Jones, Eagle County Conservation District
    Abstract    Biographies

  • Grand Valley Pilot Project
    Luke Gingerich and or Mark Harris, Grand Valley Water Users Association

  • System Conservation Projects on the Price River
    Jordan Nielson, Trout Unlimited
    Abstract     Biography

12:20     Lunch

1:30  How experiences on rivers can influence water policy

Moderator: Ken Neubecker, American Rivers  Biography

  • Experiencing Echo Park
    Sara Porterfield, History Department, University of Colorado
    Abstract    Biography

  • Recreation Advocates’ role in water policymaking today
    Nathan Fey, American Whitewater

2:15 Having it all: trying to meet diverse needs on shared streams

Moderator: Corey Beaugh, Colorado Division of Water Resources   Biography

  • A Rancher, a Scientist, and Angler and a Conservationist Walk into a Room…. How the Crystal River Management Plan is moving from paper to project
    Heather Lewin, Roaring Fork Conservancy

  • Watershed Management Planning in the Upper Gunnison Basin
    Frank Kugel, Upper Gunnison Water Conservancy District
    Abstract    Biography

  • Assessing the results of a planned spill on the Dolores River
    David Graf, Colorado Parks & Wildlife

  • "Learning by Doing" on the Upper Colorado
    Jason Turner, Colorado River Water Conservation District and Kristina Wynne, Bishop-Brodgen Associates for the Middle Park Water Conservancy District  
    Kristina Wynee Biography

3:35 Closing Remarks