Director, Colorado Water Center, Colorado State University
Reagan Waskom currently serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University. Dr. Waskom is a member of the Soil & Crop Sciences Department at CSU, where he has worked on various water related research and outreach programs for over 33 years, conducting statewide educational and applied research programs on water quality, water quantity, water policy and natural resource issues related to water use. Dr. Waskom’s current teaching assignment is GRAD592, the Interdisciplinary Water Resources Graduate Seminar and overseeing the Sustainable Water minor program. In addition, Dr. Waskom provides oversight for the CSU Extension Water Outreach program and personnel. Dr. Waskom’s current research emphasis is on the integrated use of surface and groundwater, the impacts of shale gas development on water resources, climate smart agriculture, irrigation innovation, and agricultural water conservation in the Colorado River Basin and the Ogallala Aquifer.
Reagan is speaking at
(8:30 a.m. departure, $45 fee, lunch included)
This tour is full. If you wish to be put on the waiting list, contact Kevin Beaty.
Few issues in the West can both divide and unite communities like water rights. Conversations about who has access to the scarce resource and who doesn’t can quickly grow tense and are fundamental to the region’s future. This tour begins near the scenic Continental Divide, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, with an overview of complex water laws and Colorado’s sprawling infrastructure. We’ll start at the eastern portal of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. Built in the 1940s, the project pumps water for miles through tunnels dug deep in the mountains in an effort to plumb the arid state. Then, we’ll head down the mountain to hike around the site of the proposed Chimney Hollow Reservoir, a pool planned to serve Colorado’s thirsty Front Range cities. We’ll wrap up downstream, talking about pressures on water supplies for both agriculture and municipalities in the face of ongoing drought and a changing climate. We’ll also look to the solutions water managers, conservationists and farmers are considering to tackle these challenges. Total drive time: 4 hours. Good for those looking for some exercise.
Advance registration is required for all Thursday tours. Attendance on each tour is strictly limited, so registering early is important. All Thursday tours will return to the Lory Student Center at about 5:00 p.m.
Departure: Each bus will depart from locations near CSU’s Lory Student Center promptly at the times listed.
Important: Meet up with your tour leaders 30 minutes prior to your departure time near the SEJ registration desk on the third floor of the Lory Student Center to check in and walk together as a group to load on the correct bus at the crowded Transit Center. Free coffee and small breakfast available in the nearby ballroom.
Colorado's population growth and development boom, combined with increased variability in water flows linked to climate change, is driving new efforts to build reservoirs and increase water storage. This is happening as competition increases for water across the Colorado River Basin in the West — the over-allocated supply for 40 million people. Panelists will explore key questions around the environmental impact of diverting water and storing it behind dams. Can relatively free-flowing rivers survive? How are westerners in Colorado responding to climate change impacts on water flows? What are the implications beyond the river headwaters state of Colorado? How far can we go with water conservation inside cities? Will agriculture survive?
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