Charting a Better Course for the Colorado River: Identifying the Data and Concepts to Shape the Interim Guidelines Renegotiation
Thursday, June 6th and Friday, June 7th, 2019
On June 6-7, 1869, John Wesley Powell’s expedition down the Colorado was prepping for passage through the Canyon of Lodore, an arduous journey that ultimately cost the expedition a ship and a third of the expedition’s provisions. Exactly 150 years later we gear up for a journey through Colorado River rapids of a different kind: How best to navigate through the upcoming negotiation of the new Interim Guidelines. The existing Interim Guidelines (IG)—which expire after 2026—have been instrumental in slowing reservoir declines, delaying curtailments, and establishing a collaborative environment for subsequent innovations, but truly sustainable water management is still an unrealized goal. With the help of emerging drought contingency plan (DCP) programs, is the new negotiation (IG 2.0) the last best opportunity to craft a lasting solution to the river’s broken water budget? If so, what data, concepts, frameworks, and principles are key to success?
Since the turn of the 21st century, storage on the Colorado River has declined while stress over the region’s water future has intensified.
The combined impact of overconsumption, drought, and climate change have exposed longstanding problems with the regional water budget, and have focused national attention on the urgency of improving management. Water managers, river advocates, and other concerned stakeholders and decision-makers are responding, increasingly through basin-wide initiatives that go beyond specifying how looming shortages will be distributed to actually trying to head-off the most painful potential impacts. Many of these efforts are at a critical juncture. As they come to fruition, several questions arise: Are we doing the right things? Is it enough? What needs to happen next?
Sponsored By: Walton Family Foundation Water Funder Initiative U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Porzak, Browning, and Bushong LLP Southern Nevada Water Authority
Moderated By: Doug Kenney, GWC Western Water Policy Program
Water scarcity is increasingly dominating headlines throughout the world. In the southwestern USA, the looming water shortages on the Colorado River system and the unprecedented drought in California are garnering the greatest attention. Similar stories of scarcity and crisis can be found across the globe, suggesting an opportunity for sharing lessons and innovations. For example, the Colorado River and Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin likely can share many lessons, as both systems were over-allocated, feature multiple jurisdictions, face similar climatic risks and drought stresses, and struggle to balance human demands with environmental needs. In this conference we cast our net broadly, exploring several salient topics including: trans-boundary cooperation, water marketing, Indigenous water rights, environmental and social water needs, and drought coping.
This public event ias informed by three invitation-only meetings held immediately before the conference: an “Indigenous Water Justice” symposium; a “Social Dimensions of Environmental Water Management” workshop; and a “Drought Crises in Federations” symposium.
Sponsored By: Canadian Research Council Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) Forum of Federations (Canada) International Joint Commission (USA and Canada) Living Rivers (USA) McMaster Water Network (Canada) Murray-Darling Basin Authority (Australia) Tropica
Moderated By: Doug Kenney
Speakers: Invited Speakers & Panelists Include (listed alphabetically): Elizabeth Anderson (Florida International University) Reed Benson (University of New Mexico) Oliver M. Brandes (University of Victoria) Srinivas Chokkakula (Centre for Policy Research, In)
Innovations in Managing Western Water: New Approaches for Balancing Environmental, Social, and Economic Outcomes June 11th and 12th, 2015 Many aspects of western water allocation and management are the product of independent and uncoordinated actions, several occurring a century or more ago. However, in this modern era of water scarcity, it is increasingly acknowledged that more coordinated and deliberate decision-making is necessary for effectively balancing environmental, social, and economic objectives. In recent years, a variety of forums, processes, and tools have emerged to better manage the connections between regions, sectors, and publics linked by shared water systems. In this event, we explore the cutting edge efforts, the latest points of contention, and the opportunities for further progress.
Presented by the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, in conjunction with the Air-Water-Gas Sustainability Research Network Technological advances for extracting oil and gas from shale deposits have ushered in a new era of energy development in key resource-rich pockets throughout the US. In this event, we review the ongoing efforts of governments and industry to develop the regulatory and management practices necessary to protect water and air resources, drawing on the latest scientific research to tackle areas of uncertainty and to inform future action.
Moderated By: Britt Banks, Executive Director Getches-Wilkinson Center
Speakers: Patty Limerick, Jim Erb, Joe Ryan, Corrie Clark, Kathryn Mutz, Laura Belanger, Cabell Hodge, Anna Carion, Olivia Lucas, Gary Kaufmann, James Martin, Jill Cooper, Rich Haut, John Adgate, Rick Collins, Mark Boling, Steve D’Esposito, Rich Whitley, Dan Grossm