Water Workshop 2010

35th Annual Colorado Water Workshop

July 21-23, 2010

Western State Colorado University, Gunnison Colorado

 

Scarcity, Conflict, and Cooperation: Meeting Future Demands Through Innovation Today

2010 Program

Wednesday, July 21

WELCOME FROM THE WORKSHOP DIRECTOR,  Dr. Jeff Sellen (12:30-12:45)

Special Presentations (12:45-1:45)

Professor Duane Vandenbusche, Western State College:  “Water in Colorado: A History”

Dr. Mark Varien, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center:  “Modeling Ancestral Pueblo Agriculture and Water Use in the Mesa Verde Region” 

Dr. Varien’s Presentation

Panel 1:  How Much Do We Have Left?  Coming to Terms With the Colorado River Water Availability Study (2:00-3:15)

Moderator:  Senator Gail Schwartz, Colorado State Senate

As a resident of her district for over 35 years, Gail Schwartz understands that rural Colorado has unique needs and she is committed to preserving Colorado’s majestic environment and protecting Colorado’s water, natural resources and agricultural lands.  Gail is also an advocate for innovative techniques and solutions to strengthen and expand healthcare and economic opportunities in communities throughout the district. She has distinguished herself in working for energy independence and the creation on new jobs by encouraging energy conservation, efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal, and bio-mass. Above all else, Gail has championed P-20 Education and dedicated much of her career to enhancing educational opportunities for all Coloradans.  Senator Schwartz is the Chair of Senate Energy & Local Government Committee, Vice Chair of  Senate Agriculture & Natural Resource Committee, Member of Colorado Tourism Board, Former Vice Chair, CU Board of Regents. Former Member, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, as well as Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Businesswoman, Educator.

Ben Harding, AMEC Earth and Environmental: “Impact of Projected Climate on Streamflows in Colorado”

Mr. Harding's Presentation

Ben Harding has more than 35 years' diverse experience in water quality and water resources engineering.  Mr. Harding has led efforts on climate change, paleo hydrology and “big river” modeling for the Colorado Water Conservation Board as part of the Colorado River Water Availability Study.  Mr. Harding has also directed the development of climate-impacted flow data for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and is leading work on a statewide analysis of climate change impacts for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.  He is currently leading a study of the impact of oil shale and other energy development on water resources in the Colorado, White and Yampa River basins in western Colorado.  He is employed at AMEC Earth & Environmental.  Mr. Harding has a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Colorado and is a registered professional engineer in Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico. 

ABSTRACT: In the fall of 2008 the Colorado Water Conservation Board initiated the first phase of the Colorado River Water Availability Study (CRWAS) to provide estimates of the amount of water available for development from the Colorado River within Colorado.  The foundation of a study of water availability is development of estimates of natural flows.  Because of the complex array of water rights, laws, compacts, court decrees and treaties that govern use of Colorado’s water, the CRWAS required estimates of monthly time series of naturalized streamflows at more than 250 locations in Colorado and throughout the Colorado River Basin.  In order to represent the reliability of water supplies, these time series were required to represent low-frequency drought and the projected effects of climate change on mean flows and the seasonal hydrograph.  This presentation will describe the methods employed to develop natural flow scenarios and will review some of the results. 

Erin Wilson, Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc.: “Impact of projected climate on agricultural demands and reservoir uses in Colorado”

Ms. Wilson's Presentation

Erin M. Wilson is a Principal at Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc. and has been a practicing water resources engineer for over 20 years. She has degrees in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer. Her expertise includes water resource planning, consumptive use modeling, and surface water modeling.  Erin has been involved in the development of the Colorado Decision Support System for 12 years, and routinely uses the data and tools to assist her clients with water resources planning and water rights investigations.  Erin has helped her clients plan for their future water needs in every river basin in Colorado.

ABSTRACT: Academic organizations and, more recently, planning agencies around the world are investigating the global and regional effects of climate change in terms of increased temperature and changes in precipitation amounts and patterns.  The State of Colorado may be the first entity to use detailed water allocation models to analyze the potential impacts of climate change at the local level.  The Colorado Water Availability Study quantified the effect of projected changes in climate on natural streamflow within the basins tributary to the Colorado River.  Existing agricultural demands were revised to reflect the increases in temperature and changes in precipitation.  The projected natural streamflow and increased demands were then used as input into the State’s water resources allocation model, which represents existing water rights, agreements, and reservoir operations.  The results allow Colorado to understand how climate change may affect current demands, water availability, and reservoir operations.

Panel 2:  Facing the Future: Moving, Keeping, and Using Wisely Colorado’s Water (3:30-4:45)

Todd Doherty, CWCB:  “Alternative Agricultural Water Transfer Methods Grant Program”

Mr. Doherty's Presentation

Todd Doherty has 13 years experience in water resources management and policy.  He has been with the Colorado Water Conservation Board since 1996 and works in the Water Supply Planning section.   This section works on long range water resources planning efforts to help the State manage its future water supply needs.  He manages two grant programs that provide significant financial assistance to help plan and implement water management and water storage projects:  the Water Supply Reserve Account Grant Program and the Alternative Agricultural Transfers Grant Program.  Todd received a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado in 1998 and a BA in Geography from the University of North Texas in 1994.

Abstract:  Colorado’s population is projected to nearly double from 4.8 million to upward of 10 million people in 2050.  The South Platte basin alone is forecasted to grow from 3.3 million to 5.8 to 6.8 million people.  By 2050, Colorado will need between 830,000 and 1.7 million acre feet of additional water for municipal and industrial needs. 

Water providers have identified specific projects that they plan to implement to meet their future water demands.  If 100% successful, these projects could yield approximately 511,000 acre feet.  Yet there still remains a water supply gap.  A large portion of the gap will likely be through agricultural transfers. 

In response to concerns that some water transfers may have negative third-party effects such as impacts to the agricultural sector and rural economies, the Legislature authorized the CWCB to develop a grant program to facilitate the development and implementation of alternative agricultural water transfer methods.   Since its inception in 2007, the CWCB has awarded $1.5 million in grants. These projects include rotational fallowing programs, water leasing-sharing programs, interruptible supply agreements to name a few.  The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of the projects and to discuss the challenges facing these alternatives to permanent agricultural dry-up of irrigated lands. 

Mike and Barbara Galloway, ERO Resources Corporation:  “Modeling Alternative Water Rights Development Scenarios to Protect a Unique Colorado Water Dependent Ecosystem”

Mr. and Ms. Galloway's Presentation

Michael Galloway is ERO Resources Corporation’s senior hydrogeologist based in ERO’s Hotchkiss office.  For nearly 40 years, Mr. Galloway has worked throughout the western US, Canada, South America, India, and Russia.  He specializes in ground water site investigations, water supply, aquifer testing, ground water remediation, water supply, and geothermal resource investigations and development. 

Barbara Galloway is ERO’s senior hydrologist and also works at ERO’s Hotchkiss office.  Barbara has 25 years of experience in surface and ground water quantity and quality data collection, analysis and modeling, water rights and administration, water supply studies, environmental impact analysis, and hazardous and non-hazardous site investigations and remediation. Prior to becoming a consultant, she was a state water resources regulator.  She has been involved in water resource projects in most of the western US.   ERO Resources provides consulting services to federal, state, and local governments, water supply companies, irrigation districts, developers, industrial and commercial businesses, individuals, and attorneys. 

ABSTRACT: The Arapahoe Grasslands Conservation Area is a 17,085-acre property held in trust by the Colorado State Land Board and is located in Arapahoe County in the Coal Creek and Box Elder Creek watersheds.  The Conservation Area is in the eastern plains of Colorado within the Central Shortgrass Prairie Ecoregion.  The rolling hills are covered with short- and mid-grass prairie and the floodplains contain a mosaic of riparian plains cottonwood woodlands, willow shrub lands, sandy washes and herbaceous wetlands.  These plant communities support diverse, abundant wildlife populations.    The Conservation Area is unique because it is such a large protected area with relatively little human disturbance close to an urban area.  The Conservation Area is located immediately east of the rapidly expanding east edge of the City of Aurora.  The intermittent surface flows and shallow ground water that support the plant and wildlife communities in the Conservation Area are threatened by decreed conditional water rights that could potentially divert all surface flows and pump the shallow ground water to below the root zone of the riparian vegetation.  In addition, foreseeable upstream development could alter surface flows to the Conservation Area.  In 2009, ERO Resources Corporation completed a 1-year hydrologic study of the Conservation Area, collecting meteorological data, measuring streamflows, wetland and pond water levels, shallow ground water levels and monitoring the effects of current shallow ground water pumping in part of the Conservation Area.  ERO developed a ground water model to predict the effects of various surface and ground water rights development scenarios on streamflows, shallow ground water levels, and, consequently, on the vegetation and wildlife communities within the Conservation Area.  Based on the model results, ERO presented alternative water rights development scenarios to reduce or minimize impacts to the water-dependent ecosystems at the Grasslands.  In addition, based on available foreseeable nearby development plans, ERO completed surface water modeling to estimate the increased runoff flows that might occur within the Coal and Box Elder Creek watersheds due to the increase in upstream impervious areas (primarily roads, roofs and parking areas).  Conservation constraints and opportunities, as well as recommendations for the existing conservation plans, were provided based on the results of the hydrologic study.          

Gary Barber, Manager, Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority, “Front Range Groundwater: Scarcity and Opportunity”

 Mr. Barber's Presentation

Gary represents the El Paso County Water Authority, the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority and manages two Metropolitan Districts, quasi-municipal governments formed to provide public services and resolve water issues of various types. He is currently chairman of Arkansas Basin Roundtable, a collaborative group of representatives from the counties, cities and special interests in Southern Colorado, attempting to address the consumptive and non-consumptive needs for water in the future.

ABSTRACT: The Statewide Water Supply Initiative of 2004 identified “gaps” in the future municipal water supply but made a basic assumption that the Denver Basin aquifer, a primary source of supply for many Front Range communities, would continue as a source of supply into the future.  The Executive Summary of SWSI did identify “sustainability and reliability” of these sources as worthy of further investigation.  The Arkansas Basin Roundtable has recently submitted a report: A Resource Document: Projects and Methods to Meet the Needs of the Arkansas Basin, that assumes that by the year 2030 the deep aquifers of the Denver Basin will be too expensive to serves as a source of supply, and have therefore increased the “gap” proportionately.

Does this future scarcity represent an opportunity for underground storage?  What about storage in the alluvial aquifers of the designated basins?  Can these efforts succeed under current law?

Thursday, July 22

Introductory Keynote:  Larry Walkoviak, USBR Regional Director of the Upper Colorado Region “A Perspective on Today’s Colorado River Issues” (8:00-8:45)

Mr. Walkoviak's Presentation

Mr. Larry Walkoviak was appointed Regional Director of the Upper Colorado Region in September 2007.  Prior to that, he served as Deputy Regional Director of the Lower Colorado Region since August 2005. In his more than 32 years of Federal service, all with the Bureau of Reclamation, Mr. Walkoviak has served in several managerial positions.  Prior to his appointment with the Lower Colorado Region, he held positions in Reclamation's Great Plains and Upper Colorado Regions, having spent seventeen years in the Upper Colorado Region.  He was Area Manager of Reclamation's Oklahoma-Texas Area Office where he administered programs and projects in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  His previous tenure in the Upper Colorado Region included assignments in Farmington, New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Salt Lake City, Utah where he was responsible for Reclamation activities ranging from planning studies and environmental compliance to daily operations and maintenance for projects in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.  During his career he has received numerous awards including the Department of the Interior’s Superior Service and Meritorious Service awards.

Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and raised on a dairy farm in east Texas, Larry holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University. He and his wife Jo have been married almost 34 years, and have four sons and four grandchildren. 

Panel 3:  Glimpsing Colorado’s Water Future (9:00-10:30)

Tim Carlson, Research & Policy Director, Tamarisk Coalition: “Tamarisk in Colorado: Its Real Impact on Water Supplies”

Mr. Carlson's Presentation

Mr. Carlson has more than 35 years of experience in the environmental field working in the private sector with various cities, states, Federal agencies, and with numerous non-profit organizations.  During this period he has facilitated several high level peer reviews for national laboratories and federal agencies on complex environmental problems.  One career achievement of note is his work with the Department of Energy and State Department developing environmental research opportunities for displaced scientists at the end of the Cold War.  Over the past eight years, Mr. Carlson established and directed the Tamarisk Coalition, a non-profit alliance of state and federal agencies, private organizations, and landowners working to restore riparian lands impacted by invasive plant species.  Mr. Carlson is a past member of the Invasive Species Advisory Council to the National Invasive Species Council.  He has also served on research grant review panels for the Bureau of Reclamation and NASA. 

ABSTRACT: Tamarisk, a non-native tree that is pervasive along western rivers, has long been considered a heavy water user that competes with and displaces native plants, and degrades wildlife habitat. Much time and effort has been devoted to the removal of tamarisk in an effort to restore streamside vegetation and save water.  Recently, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation produced a report that suggests that these efforts may be misguided.  A key finding of this science report is that native streamside plants such as cottonwoods and willows typically consume as much water as non-native tamarisk, also known as saltcedar.

Another complete assessment of the hydrologic impacts of tamarisk was performed by the seven states that make up the Colorado River Basin titled, Colorado River Tamarisk and Russian Olive Assessment (December 2009).  This report – authored by nationally recognized experts in the field of plant water use, potential water savings, and site restoration in tamarisk infestations identified that water savings are possible.  So, how should water managers in Colorado interpret these diverse findings?

Tim Feehan, Finance Section Chief, CWCB

Mr. Feehan's Presentation

Britta Strother, Water Resource Specialist, South Metro Water Supply Authority: “Regional Partnerships for a Sustainable Water Future”

Ms. Strother's Presentation

Britta Strother joined the South Metro Water Supply Authority as the water resource specialist in 2007.  The South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA) plans, develops and sources renewable water for its members located in Douglas and Arapahoe Counties in Colorado.    Members of SMWSA include:  Arapahoe Water and Wastewater Authority, Castle Pines Metropolitan District, Castle Pines North Metropolitan District, Centennial WSD, Cottonwood Water and Sanitation District, Town of Castle Rock, East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District, Inverness Water And Sanitation District, Meridian Metropolitan District, Parker Water and Sanitation District, Pinery Water and Wastewater District, Rangeview Metropolitan District, Roxborough Water and Sanitation District and Stonegate Village Metropolitan District.  Ms. Strother holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy from the University of Puget Sound and a Masters in Resource Law Studies with specializations in water law and policy as well as environmental law and policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. 

ABSTRACT: The presentation “Regional Partnerships for a Sustainable Water Future” will discuss the formation of water authorities in the South Metro Area.  Specifically, the presentation will address the South Metro Water Supply Authority’s (SMWSA) efforts to plan, develop and source renewable and sustainable water into the South Metro region.

Roundtable Discussion: Energy For the Future?  Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Uranium Development in Colorado (10:45-12:15)

Frank Filas, Environmental Manager, Energy Fuels:  “Water Impacts of Uranium Development in Colorado”

Mr. Filas's Presentation

Frank Filas is a professional engineer with 30 years of experience in mining and environmental engineering and is the Environmental Manager for Energy Fuels Resources Corporation. Energy Fuels is currently permitting the Piñon Ridge Uranium and Vanadium Mill in Montrose County, Colorado. Frank has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a master’s degree in environmental science and engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Prior to joining Energy Fuels, Frank worked in a variety of engineering, environmental, and managerial positions for mining and engineering consulting firms, primarily in the western United States. His environmental expertise includes site permitting, permit compliance, environmental audits, site decommissioning and cleanup, mine and mill reclamation, surface and ground water evaluations, and water treatment. Mine site experience includes working as a miner, mine engineer, foreman, and shifter in both surface and underground mines.

ABSTRACT: The uranium mining industry today is strictly regulated by local, state, and federal regulatory and land-managing agencies. New mines are built with substantial environmental controls including water treatment facilities, water diversion and erosion control structures, environmental monitoring plans, and fully-bonded reclamation plans. Historic mines are also often re-opened, which allows for remediation and reclamation of pre-law impacts.

Current laws and regulations also provide strict guidance for siting, building, and operating uranium mills. For example, the proposed Piñon Ridge Mill has secondary containment and leak detection and recovery systems throughout the mill and waste disposal areas. There is no groundwater under most of the site and, where present, it is approximately 450-feet deep. There are no perennial streams in the vicinity of the mill and all runoff and direct precipitation on the site will be contained on the site. Essentially, the mill is designed to be a zero-discharge facility with minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

Ron Henderson, Montrose County Commissioner

Ronald D. "RON" Henderson is a native of Colorado, born in Delta County, graduated the University of Colorado Zoology 1970, ( 1970-1989 the following simultaneously) former owner transit mix concrete company,  former dirt excavator operator, former gravel extraction operator, former Chairman of the Montrose County Planning Commission, former President of the Chipeta Water Co. Montrose County, currently an active 22 year veteran of the real estate wars, and now Chairman of the Montrose County Board of County Commissioners. During the last 15 years, Ron has spent time traveling in Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Australia, China. Ron has a deep and abiding interest in his Country, State, and County tempered by his life experiences.

ABSTRACT: Ronald D. Henderson has been an unofficial student of water, fresh water, availability and usage all his life. He has become familiar with the ongoing problems and benefits of fresh water throughout his life's work which also includes briefly holding a waste water certificate .  He also completed Attorney Clay's 2 day water law course 5 years ago. Being a County Commissioner in a county including 3 drainage basins, 70% of the county land mass owned by FS and BLM, 4 possibly endangered native fish species, one of the richest mineral belts in the US, and in the process of permitting the first new Uranium Mill in the USA in 25 years has brought the importance of water to a center focus for Commissioner Henderson. Commissioner Henderson recognizes this vital resource is crucial for agricultural, municipal, commercial, industrial, and recreational sustainability and growth, as well as sustaining native species.
 

Harold Shepherd, Executive Director, Red Rock Forests

Harold Shepherd is the Executive Director for Red Rock Forests located in Moab, Utah and the staff attorney for the Center for Water Advocacy which is a non-profit legal entity that focuses on water issues throughout the West. Harold has been practicing public lands and water rights law since 1990, after obtaining his J.D. from University of Oregon Law School.  Since founding for CWA, he has worked on water and tribal issues in the West and Alaska since 2003, and continues to organize the annual Northwest Tribal Water Law Conference, sponsored this year by the Squaxin Island Tribe in Washington state. Harold is the author of “Compromising Democracy, The Rise and Fall of the Second Conquest of Western Rangelands.” He has published several law review and other articles focusing on water and Indian law topics and produces a radio show that is broadcast by KZMU in Moab addressing the availability of water in the western United States.

ABSTRACT: Calls for nuclear revival have led to rampant mineral and water speculation in and around Utah and an industry that is looking to the uranium rich iconic mountain and canyon country. A nuclear power plant in Green River, Utah could also be the epicenter of any future oil shale boom and the corresponding impacts on water availability in the state. Many water experts speculate that the already over-appropriated river systems in Utah simply cannot accommodate such development. A case in point is the Green River nuclear plant, which would have access to a 1964 Kane County water right for 29,600 acre-feet per year. If the river drops, the plant would have rights to what remains, placing it ahead of many other water right holders in southern Utah. In addition, adding water diversions for uranium together with other energy development could cause state water courts to cut off existing water users once Utah exceeds its allocation under the Colorado River Compact.

Panel 4:  Past, Present and Future Efforts to “Make” More Water in the Arid West (1:30-3:00)

Carol DeAngelis, Area Manager for Western Colorado, USBR: “Stretching Existing Supplies” 

Ms. DeAngelis's Presentation

Carol DeAngelis is a coal-miner’s daughter from Trinidad, Colorado.  She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University. Carol is the Area Manager of the Western Colorado Area Office, a position she has served in since 1994.  In addition to Western Colorado, the jurisdiction of this office includes a portion of Northwestern New Mexico and Northeastern Arizona.  She currently has a staff of 75 employees in Durango and Grand Junction, Colorado. Carol began her Federal career in 1978 as a civil engineer in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Engineering and Research Center in Denver.  She served in the areas of design, dam safety, operations and maintenance, and resources management.  She also served as the Chief of the Water and Land Division of the Upper Colorado Region in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jon Monson, Director, Greeley Water and Sewer Department: “A Secure Water Future: Greeley Water’s 4 Point Plan”

 Mr. Monson's Presentation

Jon Monson has a master’s degree in Sanitary Engineering from Georgia Tech and over 30 years experience in the water and wastewater field, about half as a consulting engineer and half as municipal utilities director.  He has done everything from designing an expansion of a sewer plant serving 150,000 people to being the chief engineer and bottle washer on a one-man pilot plant testing advanced waste treatment technologies on textile mill effluents.  As Greeley’s Water and Sewer Director, he has overseen development and implementation of Greeley’s water master plan, including the 4 Point Plan, to secure the City’s water future for the next thirty years.

ABSTRACT: Aging infrastructure, limited water supplies, and increased competition for water are serious challenges for water utilities.  The City of Greeley’s Four Point Plan for securing a reliable water supply includes improving water conservation, strengthening infrastructure, continuing water acquisition, and expanding storage. Greeley now has one of the strongest conservation programs in the state.  The water utility also has significant funding in place for maintaining infrastructure.  Greeley continues an almost 20-year history of leasing water back to farmers after purchase but is quite interested in alternatives such as rotational fallowing if they can meet the conditions of permanence and reliability.  And in terms of storage, Greeley has recently completed an innovative, experimental “Shared Vision Process” which involved such entities as The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, the US Forest Service, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and EPA in water resource planning. 

Professor Mark Bird, College of Southern Nevada: “Nine Ways to Reduce Desalting Costs by 50 Percent”

Mr. Bird's Presentation

Mark Bird is a professor at the College of Southern Nevada.  He has been a full-time instructor at CSN since 2002.  Previously, he was a water planner with the U.S. Department of the Interior for a decade.  After leaving Interior, he has authored over 40 water-related articles.  His water articles have appeared in over 10 publications including the San Diego Union Tribune, the Tampa Tribune, and the California Engineer.  He is the sole inventor of a U.S. water-related patent.  His water articles were publicly recognized by former Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan    He has been invited to testify on water before a U.S. Senate committee.

ABSTRACT:  When most people think of seawater desalting, they think of oil-powered plants built in places like Saudi Arabia in the 20th century. There are other choices in the 21st century. Yet in a few locations in the US and the world, there are current plans to use 19th century pipeline technology to transport water over 200 miles! In addition to the six techniques identified in this presentation, there are certain to be other ways to reduce the costs of seawater desalting by more than 50 percent. Innovative ways to lower the costs of desalting have the clear potential to do at least as much good for humanity in the next 25 years as computers

Roundtable Discussion: Our Evolving Understanding of the Impacts of Climate Change, and What Can Be Done About It (3:15-4:45)

Tom Painter, Scientist IV, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and University of California, Los Angeles

 Major area of interest is snow hydrology, radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities on snow and glacier melt, remote sensing. B.S., Colorado State University, 1989; M.S., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1996; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2002.  Programmer, Climate System Modeling Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research (1992-1994); CIRES Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado (2002-2003); Research Scientist I/II at National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado; Assistant Professor of Geography at University of Utah (2007-2010); Scientist IV at Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech (2010-present); Visiting Adjunct Researcher at UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (2010-present); Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCLA Department of Geography (2010-present). Member, European Geosciences Union, International Glaciological Society, and Western Snow Conference.  Chairman, organizer of the Working Group on Light-Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice. Vice-Chair, Cryosphere Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.

ABSTRACT: Disturbance of desert soil surfaces in the southwest US beginning in the mid 1800s led to 5-fold increase in dust loading to the mountain snow cover of the Colorado River Basin (CRB).  This increase in dust absorbs additional solar radiation through its decrease in snow albedo, and accelerates snowmelt, shortening snow cover duration by approximately one month.  Data from the growing network Western Energy Balance over Snow (WEBS) shows that present day dust concentrations in snow cause daily average radiative forcing of 25 to 110 W/m2 (global average anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing is 1.6 W/m2) in the east central CRB over March/April/May, with instantaneous forcings reaching greater than 400 W/m2.  Snow cover duration is shortened by 25 to 50 days and the associated extension of the growing season enhances evapotranspiration.  These combine to bring a 3-week earlier peak runoff in the Upper Colorado and a reduction in the magnitude of annual runoff.

Ben Harding, AMEC Earth and Environmental: “Can We Adapt to Climate Change by Mitigating Dust? A Possible Win-Win Approach”

Mr. Harding's Presentation

BIO:  See Panel 1

ABSTRACT: Climate change impact studies on snowmelt-driven systems agree on one thing:  higher temperatures mean that snow will begin to accumulate later in the winter and will begin to melt earlier in the spring.  This, in turn, means that less water will be stored in snowpack and that runoff from that snowpack will come earlier in the spring.  This change in timing will have an important effect on the performance of water supply systems.  At the same time, we are also beginning to learn that deposition of dust originating from rangelands to our west and southwest has accelerated snowmelt and runoff for more than a century.  Mitigation of dust emissions on arid western rangelands could help us offset the effect of increasing temperatures on the timing of spring runoff.  This presentation will describe one possible win-win approach for accomplishing this mitigation.

Professor Dave Marchetti, Western State College

Dr. David Marchetti is an Assistant Professor of Geology at Western State College of Colorado. His research specialties include geomorphology and Quaternary geology and the geochemistry of low-temperature, near-surface geologic systems.

ABSTRACT: The stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen (18O, 16O and 2H, 1H) are incredibly powerful tracers of water movement within the hydrologic cycle. In this talk I will discuss the basic science behind stable isotopes and their applicability to water science, policy, and climate change.

Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi, Drought and Climate Change Technical Specialist, CWCB: “Drought, Climate Change, and Colorado”

Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi works on Drought Planning and Climate Change for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Taryn conducts research and analysis of existing drought planning efforts; and provides technical assistance to water providers on the development, implementation, and monitoring of drought mitigation planning programs, including managing the revision of the Colorado State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.

Taryn also provides technical expertise for the CWCB’s participation in regional efforts to analyze the impacts of climate change on water resources; including addressing issues concerning uncertainties and vulnerability in water resource planning & management, focusing primarily on climate change and implementation of water management strategies.

Prior to CWCB Taryn worked in the nonprofit sector on the balance between human water demands and protection of the natural environment. She has authored and co-authored numerous comparative analyses on western water issues.  She has also worked with the US EPA on climate change. 

ABSTRACT: In Colorado, temperatures have increased by approximately 2°F between 1977 and 2006. Increasing temperatures are affecting the state’s water resources and will continue to into the future. The impacts on water resources are also likely to affect other sectors statewide from agriculture and tourism to the overall economy.  Better understanding these potential impacts will enable the state understand how to adapt. 

Climate change, together with natural variability and increasing demand, may also lead to the State of Colorado and the region to experience drought conditions rarely observed in the historic record. Preparedness is the key to successfully addressing the challenges of increasing drought risk and demands on water availability. Drought preparedness includes drought early warning and mitigation planning, implementation of proactive adaptation measures, and increased public awareness.

The CWCB is helping water managers by supporting planning efforts on a local, regional and statewide basis. CWCB is participating in and conducting studies that examine the potential influence of climate change on the state’s water resources and other related water dependant sectors (i.e. skiing, rafting, agriculture, etc), how increases in temperature may influence the severity of drought events, how we can better assess our vulnerability, and how state and local decision makers can better prepare. 

People’s Keynote and Banquet (6:00-7:30)

This year, the Colorado Water Workshop is highlighting the voices of “everyday” Coloradoans through our People’s Keynote. In conjunction with our banquet, we will hear from Rio de la Vista, Ken Spann, Greg Trainor, and Eric Leaper, all of whom have passionate—and sometimes very different—opinions on our water future. Join us for great food and a rousing and varied discussion of water in our great state.

Rio de la Vista has worked with local, regional and international non-profit organizations and land managers since 1980, focusing on land conservation and restoration, agricultural viability, water issues and community sustainability. Having lived in the San Luis Valley and worked with the community’s Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust since 2000, she serves as co-coordinator for the Rio Grande Initiative, a partnership of conservation organizations that has achieved over $20 million in conservation along the Rio Grande corridor in Colorado since 2007.

Rio is the Vice Chair of the Rio Grande Basin Round Table and a member of the Upper Rio Grande Resource Advisory Council.

With a degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Rio writes for numerous publications and purposes.  She is the co-author, with Dick Richardson of South Africa, of the “eco-novel” for young adults, “The Oglin:  A Hero’s Journey Across Africa….Towards the Tomorrows.”

Ken Spann is a fifth generation cattle rancher who, together with his parents, son, and extended family, owns and operates Spann Ranches, headquartered in Gunnison, Colorado.  Located at Gunnison and in the scenic mountain valley down river from Crested Butte, with additional ranches in the Uncompahgre Valley near Olathe and Delta, the Spann’s high standards in both the production of their cattle and their hand’s on attitude toward stewardship of the land have gained widespread recognition.

Ken holds a B.S. in Animal Sciences with high distinction from Colorado State University.  He was a member of CSU’s Meats Judging team that won the National Collegiate Championship in 1978.  He is also a graduate of the Colorado University School of Law, and was admitted to the Colorado and Federal Bars in 1982.

Ken is a Past President of the Gunnison County Stock grower’s Association, a member of the Society for Range Management, and has served a term on the Gunnison County Planning Commission.  During 1994 and 95, Ken served as Chairman of the Federal Lands Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Association.  In that capacity, he had direct responsibility for the implementation of the cattle industries’ policies relating to federal land at the national level and worked extensively in Washington, D.C.  In 2009, he served at the request of both Colorado U.S. Senators on the Colorado Bipartisan Judicial Nominating Commission for the 2 pending vacancies on the Federal District Court of Colorado.

Ken is a Director of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District.  He serves on the District Finance Committee, and the District Negotiating Committee and is chairman of the both the District Water Administration Committee and the District’s Taylor River User’s Group.  Additionally, he represents the UGRWCD on the Gunnison Basin Roundtable, and is a member of the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association.

Ken is divorced, has two children, Laura and Andy,  and makes his home on the Spann Y Bar Ranch at Almont, Colorado, while also spending time with his partner, Val Barnica, at their home in the Coal Creek valley west of Montrose. 

Greg Trainor: Currently the Utility and Street Systems Director for the City of Grand Junction  (1986 to present), Greg Trainor has been closely associated with water for most of his career in Colorado municipal government.  Greg has held positions with the City of Colorado Springs as the assistant to the Utility Director, Town Manager for the Town of Rangely in Northwest Colorado, Job Site Coordinator with Atlantic Richfield Company’s community development group during the planning and construction of the Battlement Mesa New Town, and as Project Manager for the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

The City of Grand Junction Utility and Street Systems Department provides water, wastewater and solid waste services to residents of the City of Grand Junction and to portions of Mesa County.  In addition, it is responsible for the City’s storm water program, street maintenance, and all City facilities.

Greg presently serves on the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, representing Mesa County municipalities, is the Past-president of  United Way of Mesa County,  a member of the American Water Works Association, , and President of Friends of Westwater Canyon.

Greg graduated from Colorado State University in 1970 with a BA in Political Science and History.  In 1972 he graduated from Brigham Young University with a Masters in Public Administration.

Eric Leaper has been kayaking and rafting on rivers in Colorado since the 1960s. He was the Executive Secretary of the American Canoe Association from 1976 to 1978, and the Executive Director of the National Organization for Rivers from 1978 to the present. He has also operated commercial rafting and kayaking trips in Colorado, Utah, California, Chile, and Argentina. He has been an expert witness in river-related litigation since 1982, in cases ranging from West Virginia to Oregon, and from Colorado to Canada. Together with other authors, he has researched and drafted a book, Public Rights on Rivers, now nearing completion.

Friday, July 23 

 

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST (7:00-8:00) 

Introductory Keynote:  Joe Frank, Manager, Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District: “A CO-OPerative Viewpoint” (8:00-8:45)

 Mr. Frank's Presentation

Mr. Frank is the General Manager for the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District.  He has been with the District for six and a half years and has served as manager since May, 2004.  The District serves over 400,000 acres in Morgan, Washington, Logan and Sedgwick Counties in Northeastern Colorado.  He also represents the District on the South Platte Basin Roundtable, is Vice President of Colorado Water Congress, and sits on various committees for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and the South Platte Water Related Activities Program.  Through the District, Mr. Frank also manages the District 64 Reservoir Company, provides augmentation accounting for numerous well users’ groups, and provides technical assistance and coordination in developing and operating various augmentation plans and water supply projects.  He previously worked for JeHN Engineering in Arvada as a Project Manager.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1998 and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. 

Panel 5:  Landscape Water Conservation for New Construction: Carrot, Stick, or Mind Your Own Business (9:00-10:15)

Facilitator: MaryLou Smith, Policy and Collaboration Specialist, Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University      

After 35 years as vice president and co-founder of Aqua Engineering, Inc., MaryLou joined the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University to continue providing water policy collaboration services. Her work revolves around group process design and facilitation for various stakeholder groups including roundtables and work groups of the Colorado Interbasin Compact process; water conservancy districts; ditch companies; and agricultural and environmental organizations. Agricultural/urban/environmental water sharing strategies and the integration of land use planning with water supply planning is of prime interest.   

MaryLou grew up on cotton and alfalfa farm irrigated by wells in eastern New Mexico. She earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from New Mexico State University and received facilitation and mediation training from CDR Associates.  She served twelve years on the Fort Collins Water Board, and currently serves on CSU’s  Water Archives Advisory Board.

Abstract: Colorado’s legislatively created Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) and Basin Roundtables have been attempting to narrow in on solutions for filling the anticipated future gap between water supply and demand. One strategy under consideration is water conservation. At a recent IBCC meeting, one member questioned what’s keeping us from preparing now for landscape conservation standards so that when the economy recovers and we start building homes again, those standards are in place. This panel is a step-by-step look at what those standards might be, whether they would be mandated or incentivized, and what might stand in the way of their actualization.

Doug Macdonald, Vice President, Aqua Engineering: “Opportunities to Save Landscape Water through Efficient Design, Appropriate Technologies, and Effective System Management”

Mr. Macdonald's Presentation

Douglas Macdonald has a B.S. in Environmental Design with experience in the landscape and irrigation industry since 1982. Doug has a wide range of experience in different regions of North America and specializes in large municipal and regional parks, sports and athletic fields, corporate campuses, and streetscapes. Doug was the National President of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) in 1995 and 1996. He is the immediate Past President of the Southwest Chapter of ASIC and currently serves on the organization’s board of directors. In addition, Doug is published in numerous magazines including Landscape & Irrigation, Irrigation Business & Technology, and California Fairways. Doug became LEED accredited in 2008 and is recognized as an EPA WaterSense Partner.

Abstract: Water is a precious commodity, vital for the preservation of life on this planet. The built environment is dependent on water to sustain our living landscape. It is critical that we become stewards of our water resources to preserve them for future generations. There are a wide variety of tools and opportunities available for conserving and preserving water that is used to sustain our landscaped environments. This presentation will touch on some of those tools and opportunities including efficient design methods, the use of appropriate technologies, and effective system operation and water management techniques.

Tracy Bouvette, Executive Director, Great Western Institute: “Incentives and Mandates for Landscape Water Conservation”

Mr. Bouvette's Presentation

Tracy Bouvette is a Colorado native.  He holds a BS in Civil Engineering and a MS in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University, and a MBA from the University of Denver.  He has over 30 years of experience in policy development and planning related to the management of water resources in Colorado and throughout the US.  He is the founder and Executive Director of Great Western Institute, a Colorado-based non-profit whose mission is the promotion of the benefits of water conservation and water use efficiency through education, policy and research.  Under his direction, Great Western Institute has provided guidance and support to water utilities and providers across the state as they work to develop and implement meaningful water conservation programs.    Great Western Institute has also provided key water conservation policy research and support to the CWCB related to SWSI and the Interbasin Compact Commission.

Abstract: Mr. Bouvette will speak about current and future incentives for customer and water provider sponsored outdoor landscape water efficiencies.  He will discuss and present the pros and cons of water utility sponsored outdoor landscape programs related to existing and new construction, based on his experience conducting outdoor water audits for water providers and water customers across the state.  One focus of his discussion will be the relative value of incentive programs such as water utility rebates and retrofits versus ordinances and regulation of new and existing construction.  He will also present a number of examples related to outdoor water use efficiency programs that have been implemented in Colorado in the past few years.

Representative Kathleen Curry, Colorado State House of Representatives, former Manager, Upper Gunnison River Conservancy:  “Obstacles to State Leadership for Adopting Water Conservation Measures”

Kathleen has served in the State House for six years and is running for a fourth term this year as the state's only independent legislator. Prior to serving in the legislature she managed the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District. She lives in Gunnison with her husband Greg Peterson and two sons, Bill and Joe. When she isn't in Denver she tries to help Greg out with the family ranch.

Abstract: Kathleen will discuss the role of the legislature as it pertains to the question of adopting landscape water conservation measures. She will discuss recent actions at the state level and share ideas regarding how to improve the dialogue between groups promoting and opposing such legislature.

Kim Calomino, Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Home Builders Association of Metro Denver:  “Best Ways to Work with Homebuilders to Conserve Water in Colorado Landscapes”

Ms. Calomino's Presentation

Kim Calomino is the Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs for the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver.  Calomino heads the department responsible for developing and delivering the association’s technical training, educational and certification programs in the areas of quality construction, energy- and resource-efficient building, stormwater and erosion control compliance and worker safety.  Calomino also heads up the HBA’s advocacy and government relations efforts on regulatory matters impacting the industry.  Calomino also served as Director of Built Green® Colorado, the HBA’s voluntary statewide green building program, from 1995 through its closure in 2009.  Under Calomino’s leadership Built Green became the largest, most widely-recognized and successful residential green building program in the nation.  Built Green was widely credited for helping “mainstream green” and was used as the model for many of the green building programs that have emerged across the country and in Canada in recent years.

Abstract: Certainly, residential water conservation is one component of addressing the state’s water supply problems; however, it is only a small part of the overall picture.  Colorado’s home builders have been working for decades to provide homes with state-of-the-art, affordable, water conservation features for both inside and outside the home.  The question posed to this panel – the feasibility of statewide incentivizes or mandates on landscape water conservation in new home construction – assumes major conservation gains remain to be had in new home landscaping and operates on a false premise that new residential development will play a major role in future water shortages. In light of the fact that municipal water use (which includes both indoor and outdoor residential use) accounts for only 5-7 percent of the state’s water use, and the fact that major steps have already been take to reduce new residential water use, additional legislation in this area will do little to produce additional water savings. Until water providers and elected officials are willing to acknowledge the water loss and waste that occurs with older, existing housing stock, Colorado will make little progress in residential water conservation. 

Panel 6:  Lighten the Selenium Load: Either Swim Together or Sink Alone (10:30-11:45)

Introduction:  Sonja Chavez de Baca, Gunnison Basin and Grand Valley Selenium Task Force, and

Sonja has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and a Master’s degree in Limnology, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Sonja has worked in both the public and private sectors as an environmental planner and water-quality specialist.  She has significant experience in the areas of water-quality and wetland assessment, land use planning, best management practices, nutrient loading modeling, project management, grant writing, facilitation, and environmental policy and compliance.  Sonja is the President of SC Environmental, LLC, and she has served as the Coordinator of the Gunnison Basin & Grand Valley Selenium Task Forces for six years.  Within the selenium circle she’s known as the “facilitator”, “coordinator”, “dictator”, “mediator” and any other “ator” you can think of.  She prefers “Selenium Queen”.

Marc Catlin, Manager, Uncompahgre Valley  Water Users Association

Marc has been the manager of Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association since 2002.  He was Assistant Manager of the company for 6 years prior to being chosen as Manager.  He graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Business in 1993.  Prior to working in the water resource industry he was an Ag Banker for United Banks of Colorado.  He is a past President of the Colorado Water Congress, a past president of 4 states irrigation council and currently a board member, and a member of the Family Farm Alliance.  Marc has been an active participant in the Gunnison Basin Selenium Task Force since its founding in 1998.

Barb Osmundson, US Fish & Wildlife Service: “Selenium Toxicity”

Barb has been a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) since 1988 working in the environmental contaminants program.  She has a degree in veterinary technology, a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hastings College (1984) and a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology (1990).  Barb’s work with the FWS focuses on selenium toxicity and endangered Colorado River fish.  Barb currently farms about 7 acres of irrigated grass pasture in the Grand Valley.

Kenneth J. Leib, United States Geological Survey: “The Effects of Geology and Land Use on Selenium Loading”

Ken Leib has been a hydrologist for the West Slope Office of the U.S. Geological Survey for 15 years.  He obtained his bachelor’s of science degree from Colorado State University in 1995.  Ken lives in Delta and is a water user in the Uncompahgre Valley.  Ken’s primary areas of research are abandoned mine lands in the Upper Animas Region and salinity and selenium issues in the Lower Gunnison and Grand Valleys.

David A. Kanzer, Colorado River Water Conservation District:  “Selenium—The Unintended Consequences of Water Use”

Although he’s a non-native Coloradoan, having been raised in suburbia, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Kanzer is acutely aware of the water resource issues facing western Colorado (including the invasion of non-natives). Over the last 16 years, Kanzer has worked on the numerous water quality and quantity issues facing the Colorado River Basin, as a Senior Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado River Water Conservation District in Glenwood Springs. Recently his efforts have been primarily focused on the Gunnison sub basin. Providing for sufficient water with sufficient quality for a diverse array of beneficial uses is a career challenge that is not taken lightly or impatiently.

After originally moving to Colorado to pursue a lucrative career as a ski bum, Dave was lured by the poverty of academia at the Colorado School of Mines where he completed his bachelors and masters degrees in geological engineering.

He resides in Glenwood Springs with his wife and two boys, takes his selenium supplements daily and anxiously awaits the snowfall not only to replenish our critical water resources.

Post-Conference Debriefing with the Director (11:45-12:30)