Registration is now being accepted for the Colorado River District annual seminar on Sept. 18. A one-day briefing on important Colorado River challenges, this year's theme is "Uncertainty: You can count on it -- Feast or famine on the Colorado River." As the theme suggests, the historical poor snow year of 2018 was completely reversed by the healthy snowpack of 2019 and the unusual runoff, which continues to be strong.
But 2019 was only the fifth above-average year in the last 19 water years, and will not reduce long-term pressures on the Colorado River system. The seminar will explore drought contingency plans in the Colorado River basin intended to address uncertain hydrology, warming temperatures and low reservoir levels at lakes Powell and Mead.
Topics include "Science be Dammed: What we knew about the Colorado River when the 1922 Compact was ratified (the answers will surprise you)," by Eric Kuhn; "Actions on the Colorado River have consequences, by Anne Castle, former U.S. assistant secretary for water and science; "Snow-pocalypse," a 2019 feast after a famine by a speaker to be determined; "Drought contingency planning today, renegotiating shortage rules tomorrow," by Jessica Khaya and Rebecca Smith, hydrologic engineers with the Bureau of Reclamation, and Andy Mueller, general manager of the Colorado River District; and "When hydrology and management collide: How Lake Powell got hammered," by Brad Udall, senior water and climate research scientist and scholar at Colorado State University's Colorado Water Institute.
Cost is $35 in advance, $45 at the door, and includes lunch. Due to ongoing renovations at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, the event will be held at the Colorado Mesa University Meyer Ballroom. Register online at coloradoriverdistrict.org/annual-seminars.