For 39 years in southwestern Colorado, water managers, irrigators, municipal representatives, tribal members, environmental advocates, recreation enthusiasts, and interested citizens have come together each year for the SWCD’s Southwest Water Seminar. It’s a unique opportunity to interact with other individuals who are passionate about water resources and hear expert speakers from around the state and region.
The 39th Southwest Water Seminar took place on March 31st, 2023 at the Sky Ute Casino and Resort.
A video recording of the conference will be made public soon, and feel free to browse the provided presentations, below:
Session 1: Water Reuse- Treating Wastewater and Using it Again – A Deeper Look
- Brandi Honeycutt – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
- Molly Morris – Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4CORE)
- Jolene Walsh – Director, Policy and Governmental Affairs, Easter Municipal Water District
- Helen Katich -Senator Hickenloper’s Office, Funding the Drinking Water Space
Session 2: Seeking Common Ground along the Colorado River
Session 3: West Slope-East Slope, Lower, and Upper Basin Food and Water Connection
Session 4: Statewide and Regional Environmental Issues
Water Information Program Overview & Lunch Game
The 38th Southwest Water Seminar, “Navigating Shortage,” was attended by 170 people both in person and online.
Missed the seminar? All sessions are now available SWCD’s YouTube Channel.
Read seminar coverage from the Cortez Journal and Durango Herald:
Below are several presentations given at the seminar: Click here to review the final 2022 program.
Southwest Colorado in the Aridification Bullseye
Becky Bolinger, CSU Assistant State Climatologist
Rob Genualdi, Division 7 Engineer, Colorado Division of Water Resources
Heidi Steltzer, Fort Lewis College
Tribal Engagement – A New Dynamic on the Colorado River
Manuel Heart, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Chairman
100 Years of the Colorado River Compact
Eric Kuhn, Author and Former Colorado River District Manager
Kelsea Macilory, PhD Candidate, Colorado State University
Beth Van Vurst, SWCD General Counsel, Van Vurst Law
Becky Mitchell, Colorado’s Commissioner to the UCRC
Water 22 – It All Starts Here
Elaine Chick, Water Information Program
Water Quality Impacts as Flows Drop
Peter Butler, Bonita Peak Community Advisory Group
John Cyran, Western Resource Advocates
SWCD’s 37th Annual Seminar, “Headwaters to Headgates: Uniting Leaders and Lessons for Southwest Colorado,” had another record number of attendees. U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton, Becky Mitchell, Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission, as well as KKTV meteorologist Brian Bledsoe were among the speakers. Click here to read a Durango Herald article based on a presentation at the seminar.
Below are several presentations given at the seminar. Click here to review the final program.
Weather We Like it or Not
Brian Bledsoe – KKTV
Laser Mapping of Mountain Snowpacks
Jeff Deems – National Snow & Ice Data Center
Phase III Preliminary Results: Colorado River West Slope Risk Assessment
John Currier – Colorado River Water Conservation District
Making Waves in Water Education
Jayla Poppleton – Water Education Colorado
Proposing a Reverse Auction Exchange: Compensating Farmers for Reductions in Consumptive Use
Steve Ruddell – Economist, David Stiller – Consultant
SWCD’s 36th Annual Water Seminar, “Weathering the Weather: Resilience in Managing Our Water Resources Today,” was attended by almost 200 people, and highlighted lessons for our local communities in preparing for and responding to sudden challenges. Experts discussed how wildfire impacts water supplies, the state’s response to emergencies such as the 2013 front range flooding, the western slope’s risk in the context of Colorado River obligations and drought, as well as avoiding devastating infrastructure failure, among other related topics. Hear an interview about the seminar with Executive Director Bruce Whitehead or read coverage of the event in the Durango Herald.
Below are the presentations given at the 2018 seminar. Click here for the full program.
Forests, Wildfires & Water Supplies
Andy Colosimo – Colorado Springs Utilities
Steve Hartvigsen – San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership
Water Wizard Quiz: Are You Ready for an Emergency?
Dave Grey – Water Wizard
Five Years Since the Front Range Flood
Sean Cronin – St Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District
Eric Wilkinson – Northern Water Conservancy District
Kevin Rein – State Engineer
Floating the Tough Years: An Agile Recreation Economy
Becky Mitchell – Colorado Water Conservation Board
Cathy Metz – City of Durango
Protecting Our Supplies & Communities
Matt Gavin – Colorado Dam Safety
Recounting the Oroville Dam Spillway Failure
Bill Croyle – Retired CA Division of Water Resources
System Resilience: Planning for Drought on the Colorado River
Karen Kwon, Brent Newman – Colorado Attorney General, CWCB
2017 Annual Water Seminar
The 2017 theme was “Solving the Water Funding Puzzle.” Across the West, the struggle to finance water projects and programs is constant. Speakers from state, federal and local perspectives discussed opportunities to continue essential water programs, address aging infrastructure and implement the water plan. Below are presentations provided by the speakers.
Click here for the 2017 program, and read bios on the speakers.
2016 Annual Water Seminar
Again achieving record attendance with more than 190 people, the 34th Annual Water Seminar focused on lessons learned in the District’s 75 years and highlighted various local projects funded by the District’s grant program.
Click here for the 2016 program, and read bios on the speakers.
Op-ed by John Porter in the Durango Herald, the Silverton Standard & Miner, the Dove Creek Press, Pine River Times, Pagosa Springs Sun, Telluride Daily Planet, and the Colorado Foundation for Water Education Blog.
Presentations are available below:
2015 Annual Water Seminar
A record 175 people attended SWCD’s 33rd Annual Water Seminar, which covered water conservation, drought planning on the Colorado River, agriculture’s future, and the state water plan. Click here to take a look at the 2015 agenda.
To read about it in the news, see the links below:
Here are links to the trailer and short film shown at the seminar:
Click on the links below to access 2015 seminar presentations:
2014 Annual Water Seminar
More than 160 people registered to attend the 2014 seminar and hear experts speak on various hot-button water issues. To read more about it, see the links below:
Here are some of the 2014 presentations:
2013 Annual Water Seminar
The 31st Annual Water Seminar was a great success with about 100 in attendance and a slate of distinguished speakers. Their presentations are below: