Statewide water issues topic of South Platte forum

Water economics and conservation will be some of the topics of discussion at the 22nd annual South Platte River Forum Wednesday, Oct. 19, and Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Plaza Conference Center, 1900 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont.

The forum, “Making River Music,” will also examine issues such as lower basin groundwater, energy development and its relation to water use, and water transfers in the South Platte basin. The forum strives to provide an avenue for a timely, multidisciplinary exchange of information and ideas important to resource management in the basin.

Oct. 19 will include an update by John Stulp, water advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, followed by a panel focused on results of the statewide water supply inventory. Jim Lochhead of Denver Water will deliver the luncheon keynote, “A View from Around the State: Global Negotiations.”

Also during the luncheon, the Friends of the South Platte Award will be presented to Tom Cech, former executive director of the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District.

The afternoon will include a session on economics, including discussion on how to finance Colorado’s water future and align it with the values of the population.

Thursday will feature several presentations on water conservation issues. The luncheon keynote speaker will be Bill Ritter from Colorado State University’s Center for New Energy Economy. In 2007, then-Governor Ritter convened the South Platte River Basin Task Force to try to resolve disputes over water rights in the basin.

The afternoon will focus on different sources of energy from within the South Platte Basin and include discussions on oil and gas exploration, hydraulic fracturing as well as hydropower.

Registration for both day of the forum is available at the door for $115 per person. For a schedule of events, visit www.southplatteforum.org or contact Jennifer Brown at 402-960-3670 or Jennifer@jjbrown.com.

The South Platte Forum is sponsored by Tetra Tech, Colorado State University Extension, Aurora Water, Denver Water, Northern Water, Parker Water and Sanitation District, St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District, Colorado Water Institute, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Deere and Ault Consultants, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey.

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