Water seminar to discuss supply, demand

The Colorado River District's annual water seminar - "Shrinking in Supply, Growing in Demand" - will take place Sept. 13 at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction.

The cost is $30 and includes lunch. Student cost $10. Register at www.ColoradoRiverDistrict.org, by calling (970) 945-8522 or emailing mspyker@crwcd.org.

The seminar is an easy, one-day presentation of the latest hot subjects that challenge the Colorado River and how science, politics and other actions seek to address them.

The Colorado River District was created 76 years ago to protect Western Colorado water and stages the seminar to promote public education about critical challenges to the lifeblood river of the Southwest.

Speakers include Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District, who will give an overview to recent findings that suggest the Colorado River faces greater challenges than ever from climate change and human use of the Colorado River. Other speakers will address a U.S. Geological Survey study that confirms warm springs are reducing snowpack, a forecast for drought and the latest Bureau of Reclamation ruling to reduce releases from Lake Powell to Lake Mead.

The keynote speaker at lunch will be John Entsminger, the senior deputy general manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Climate and reservoir levels directly affect Las Vegas and its surrounding community and Entsminger will give a view of what that means.

In the afternoon, the developers of Sterling Ranch in the southern Denver metro area will talk about how they want to build a community with water conservation as a first concern.

The day concludes with a presentation by the new director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, James Eklund, about the Colorado Water Plan. Earlier this year, Gov. Hickenlooper ordered that a plan be given to him by 2015 that addresses measures to meet a looming water supply gap as Colorado grows to as many as 10 million people by 2050.

A panel discussion will address the plan and ways to meet the gap. Making up the panel will be the chairpeople or representatives of six basin roundtables - citizens groups in each basin created by the Colorado General Assembly in the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act. Dolores Water Conservancy District general manager Mike Preston will represent the Southwest Basin Roundtable.