Leading experts and well-known river advocates will headline the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project monthly Speakers Series, examining the Colorado River Basin and the complex water use, environmental and economic challenges facing future generations. This year’s topic is “The Colorado River Basin: Use, Restoration and Sustainability as if the Next Generation Counts.”
The Speakers Series, which is free and open to the public, kicks off on Monday, Sept. 12 with Peter McBride and Jonathan Waterman, who will discuss their book “The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict.” McBride and Waterman spent more than two years documenting the Colorado River culminating in the coffee table book, an award-winning short film, “Chasing Water,” and a traveling exhibition currently on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The talk will be presented at the Celeste South Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Building, 825 N. Cascade Ave. on the Colorado College campus (corner of Cache La Poudre Street and Cascade Avenue).
The Colorado River Basin winds 1,400 miles through seven states on its way to Mexico. It supplies water to households, communities, businesses and farms. Roughly 27 million people rely on the river for water, energy and healthy ecosystems. But climate studies and projected population growth indicate that unless immediate action is taken, municipalities, industry, agriculture and recreation will be unable to meet the water demands of the next generation. Some experts predict that by 2050, climate change and burgeoning uses of the river system will result in inadequate water to meet all of its allocated shares 65 to 90 percent of the time.
The Speakers Series features monthly programs scheduled through January 2012, leading up to a public conference April 8-10, where students will present the 2012 State of the Rockies Report examining current water, agricultural and recreational issues in the Basin and highlighting how economic, demographic and climate changes will impact what the Colorado River looks like to future generations. All lectures in the series begin at 7 p.m. Additional upcoming talks include:
Monday, Oct. 17 – “The Law of the Colorado River Basin: Rigid Relic or Flexible Foundation for the Future?” presented by Gregory Hobbs Jr., Colorado Supreme Court, and Larry MacDonnell, University of Wyoming College of Law Location: Richard F. Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Building, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus
Monday, Nov. 7 – “The Colorado River Basin: Environmental Perspectives and Action” presented by Bart Miller, Water Program Director for Western Resource Advocates; Jennifer Pitt, Director of the Colorado River Project for the Environmental Defense Fund; and Tom Chart, USFWS, Director of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program
Location: Richard F. Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Building, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus
Monday, Dec. 5 – “The Colorado River Basin and Climate: Perfect Storm for the 21st Century?” presented by Stephen Saunders, president of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, and Jeff Lukas with the Western Water Assessment, and moderated by Beth Conover, editor of “How the West Was Warmed”
Location: Gates Common Room, Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave., east of Tutt Library on the Colorado College campus
Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 – “Unheard Voices of the Colorado River Basin: Bringing Mexico and the Native American Tribes to the Table” presented by Bidtah Becker with the Water Rights Unit of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and Osvel Hinojosa, director of the Pronatura Noroeste’s Water and Wetlands Program Location: Gates Common Room, Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave., east of Tutt Library on the Colorado College campus
The State of the Rockies Project is an annual research study conducted collaboratively by undergraduate students and faculty to increase public understanding of vital issues affecting the Rockies. For more information, or to learn how to connect to podcast and videos of each program, visit the State of the Rockies Project website at http://www.stateoftherockies.com.
For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.
About State of the Rockies Project
The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project is in its ninth year and seeks to increase public understanding of vital issues affecting the Rocky Mountain Region. All events are free and open to the public, and we encourage the public to join the ongoing discussion of the issues that affect our beautiful yet fragile region. More information can be found by visiting the State of the Rockies Project website, blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel.