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November 13-14, 2019


Program with Abstracts, Speaker Biographies & Presentations

Information on past & upcoming forums here.


November 13

7:30  Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00  Welcome: Tim Foster, President, Colorado Mesa University

8:10  Keynote #1: Eric Kuhn, co-author of Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River

9:00  Communities Handling Scarcity
Moderator: Mark Harris, General Manager, Grand Valley Water Users Association

  • San Luis Valley

10:00 Break

10:20 Panel Discussion: Tribal and State Water Leaders
Moderator: Andy Mueller, General Manager, Colorado River District

  • Rebecca Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board  Biography
  • Steve Wolff, Administrator, Wyoming Interstate Streams Divisions  Biography
  • Eric Millis, Director, UT Division of Water Resources  Biography
  • Rolf Schmidt-Peterson, Director, NM Interstate Stream Commission  Biography  Presentation
  • Daryl Vigil, Interim Executive Director, Ten Tribes Partnership  Biography

11:50  Lunch

12:50 Evaluating the Risk of Curtailment of Water Rights in the Upper Basin

1:15   Discussion: History and Possible Paths Forward with the Law of the River
Moderator: Luke Gingerich, Western CO Manager, J-U-B Engineers   Biography

  • Ed Millard, Southwest Basin Representative to Colorado Inter-basin Compact Commission  Abstract   Presentation
  • Russell George, Director, Colorado Inter-basin Compact Commission   Biography

2:00  Panel Discussion: History, Present, and Future of ATMs on the Eastern Slope of Colorado Panel Abstract
Moderator: Scott Lorenz, Senior Project Manager, Colorado Springs Utilities

  • Scott Lorenz, Senior Project Manager, Colorado Springs Utilities  Biography
  • Todd Doherty, President, Western Water Partnerships  Biography
  • Alex Funk, Agricultural Water Resources Specialist, Colorado Water Conservation Board  Biography

3:00  Break

3:20  Potential Approaches to Agricultural Demand Management
Moderator: Kirsten Kurath, Attorney, Williams, Turner & Holmes, PC & Chair, Colorado Basin Roundtable Demand Management Committee  Biography

  • Economic and Ecological Tradeoffs of Ag DM in the Upper Green Basin
    • Ellen Yeatman, Graduate Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wyoming
      Abstract   Biography   Presentation
  • Compensating farmers for reducing consumptive use through a reverse auction exchange
  • How examples of other large, programmatic water transactions could inform CO’s approach to Demand Management

4:25  Paths to Reductions in Urban Water Use
Moderator: Randi Kim, Utilities Director, City of Grand Junction  Biography

  • Urban water demand trends
  • Advancing Potable Re-Use
  • Incorporating land-use practices into water efficiency plan: Pre-conference Workshop Report
    • Kevin Reidy, Water Conservation Technical Specialist, Colorado Water Conservation Board  Biography
    • Scott Williamson, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Water Education Colorado  Biography
    • Presentation

5:25  Reception/ Poster Session with beer donated by Palisade Brewing



November 14

7:45  Day 2 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:20  Welcome

8:30  Keynote #2: Zak Podmore, author of Confluence: Navigating the Personal & Political on Rivers of the New West

9:20  Doing More Together: SW Colorado’s proactive approach to advancing healthier forests and resilient watersheds
Panel Abstract    Presentation
Moderator: Ellen Roberts, Independent Consultant and former State Senator   Biography

  • Aaron Kimple, Mountain Studies Institute, facilitator of forest health collaboratives   Biography
  • Anthony Madrid, USFS San Juan National Forest, Renewable Resources Staff Officer   Biography
  • Joe Duda, Colorado State Forest Service, Deputy State Forester  Biography
  • Mike Preston, Dolores Water Conservancy District   Biography
  • Sen. Don Coram   Biography

10:35 Break

10:55 Tools for Understanding Hydrology
Moderator: Gigi Richard, Director, Four Corners Water Resources Center, Fort Lewis College  Biography

  • Living skin of the desert:  The role biological soil crusts play in the hydrology of the Upper Colorado River Basin
  • Advancing Snow Science in CBRFC Forecasting
  • Water Prediction Tools for Informing Climate Adaption Strategies as a Focus of Community Engagement
    • Fred Ogden, Cooperative Programs for Advances in Earth Systems Science University Corporation for Atmospheric Research NOAA Affiliated Senior Visiting Scientist and Academic in Residence National Water Center Tuscaloosa, Alabama   Abstract  

11:55 Short Takes: Audience Presentations of 5 Minutes or Less on Any Idea, Proposal or Event

12:15 Lunch

1:15  Addressing Stream Health Along with Other Uses
Moderator: Cary Denison, Gunnison Basin Coordinator, Western Water and Habitat Program, Trout Unlimited   Biography

  • Cache la Poudre Instream Flow Augmentation Plan
  • Providing improved fish passage on the Price River through Helper, Utah
  • Partnerships to Benefit Agricultural Operations and Improve River Flows in the Lower Price River

2:20  Tools for Addressing the Spread of Invasive Mussels in Upper Basin Waters
Moderator: Bruce Smith, Principal Hydrogeologist, Western Water and Land   Biography

  • Colorado Strategies and Results
    • Elizabeth Brown, Invasive Species Coordinator, Colorado Parks and Wildlife   Biography   Presentation
  • Bureau of Reclamation Invasive Mussel Research

3:00  Concluding Poem: what water knows, Cathy Casper Biography

3:15  Adjourn

3:45  Supplemental Activity: Tour of Grand Junction Riverfront Development – Free, but space is limited. Learn more and register here.



  • Connecting smaller communities with climate information to support resilience planning
    • Seth Arens, Katie Clifford, Sam Ehret, Lisa Dilling, Benét Duncan, Jen Henderson, Ursula Rick, Jeff Lukas, Imtiaz Rangwala, Rebecca Page, Western Water Assessment   Abstract  Biography
  • Resolving Beaver/ Human Conflict through Flow Devices in Gunnison
    • Malcolm Macleod, Master of Environmental Management Student, Western Colorado University   Abstract and Biography
  • Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Snowmelt and Snow Persistence on the Grand Mesa
    • Meghan Cline, Physical and Environmental Science Student, Colorado Mesa University and Joel Sholtes, Instructor, Civil Engineering, CMU - CU Boulder Partnership Program  Abstract and Biography
  • Water Supplies at Steak
    • Cierra Abbott, Madison Hart, Max Sawyer and Parker Vanlandingham, Western Colorado University   Abstract
  • Effects of Snow Removal and Addition on Soil Moisture Dynamics in Sage Habitats of Western Colorado
    • Justin Sanchez, Max Sawyer, Sam Sellen and Gillian Steininger, Western Colorado University   Abstract
  • Treatment of selenium in water using algal turf scrubber (ATSTM) technology
    • Hunter Doyle, Sierra Mitchell and Freddy WitarsaDepartment of Physical and Environmental Sciences, Colorado Mesa University   Abstract
  • Las Colonias Park along the Colorado River in Grand Junction, CO: Transformation of a Radioactive-Hazardous Waste Dump to the City’s Premier Business-Recreational River Park
  • Fire and its impact on water and water infrastructure: An all-hands approach to an all-human need
    • Jared Daniels, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Chama Peak Land Alliance and San Juan - Chama Watershed Partnership  Abstract