Conference to detail economic impacts of water in Colorado

The economic impacts of water — its availability, cost, conservation, development and supply — will be topics for consideration at the second Confluence: Colorado Water Summit.

The virtual, half-day event will be Oct. 22. The BizWest event is the only water conference in the region to examine the economic issues surrounding the scarcity of water affecting residents of the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. 

The agenda for the conference includes topical issues such as the status of the Northern Integrated Supply Project, effects of fire on water supply, the effects of COVID-19 on water and a discussion about how conflicts over water rights in Northern Colorado might resemble those involving the Western Slope. 

Speakers at the conference include:

  • Brett Bovee, regional director, WestWater Research. WestWater specializes in valuing water assets, assisting in water transactions and consulting on economic aspects of water management. 
  • Sean Chambers, director of the city of Greeley’s Water & Sewer department. Chambers will discuss increased collaboration and regional resiliency through planning and demand management. 
  • Tim Covino, research scientist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. Covino’s Ph.D work focused on stream-groundwater exchange, nitrogen transport and cycling and stream network modeling of biogeochemical and hydrological processes. 
  • Tom Gonzales, public health director for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. He is a registered environmental health specialist with expertise in sustainability in environmental health.
  • Bob Gowing, Wellington’s director of public works. His background includes broad civil-engineering expertise.
  • Megan Gutwein, an associate with Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti LLP. Her practice focuses on water law and water quality. She has worked on  projects to conserve water for agricultural use and leasing agricultural water for municipal use to help preserve Colorado’s rural communities. 
  • Stephanie Kampf, professor of watershed science in the CSU Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Her research group focuses on physical hydrology across spatial scales from plots to basins. Projects examine how runoff generation is affected by climate, landscape characteristics, and landscape disturbance.
  • Jen Kovecses, executive director of the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed. She has worked with the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers managing its post-fire restoration program.
  • Chris Matkins, Fort Collins-Loveland Water District general manager. He has a dryland farming background and degrees in civil engineering.
  • Patrick McMeekin, vice president of land development and partner with Hartford Homes. He oversees acquisition of real estate, project entitlements, and horizontal development and manages the corporation’s water portfolio.
  • Jeff Stahla, public information officer for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The district provides water to all the large communities in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley and many smaller communities and water districts as well.
  • Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University. He has spent the past 34 years researching and teaching about water quality, water quantity, water policy and natural-resource issues related to water use.
  • Michael Welsh, history professor at the University of Northern Colorado.  Welsh has taught courses on the environment and cultures of Colorado and the American West for the past three decades.
  • Brad Wind, general manager of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. The district encompasses 640,000 irrigable acres and is home to nearly 980,000 Coloradans. It partners with the U.S.  Bureau of Reclamation to operate the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, the Windy Gap Project and oversees four other water-activity enterprises.

Registration for the event can be accomplished here. Ticket prices range from $24.46 for BizWest subscribers to $34.46 general admission. If registrants want a copy of the book Confluence: The story of Greeley Water, $20 additional will be charged.