This year’s CSU Spur Water in the West Symposium, to be held Nov. 2-3 in downtown Denver, will bring together policymakers, researchers, and experts from the business, nonprofit, and agriculture sectors to look globally for lessons and strategies with the potential to inform how Colorado and other western states respond to the region’s water challenges.
The event’s theme, “Global Water: Successes and Solutions,” underlies a program that includes panel discussions and keynote speeches aimed at starting conversations about how communities and the entire region can respond and adapt to the pressures created by a growing population within a changing environment.
“Water in the West, now in its fifth year, has always focused on creating opportunities for speakers and audience members to connect while exploring solutions from unexpected places and sectors,” said Jocelyn Hittle, the CSU System’s associate vice chancellor for CSU Spur and special projects. “This year, we are bringing speakers with wide-ranging expertise — from ag to business to investing — together from across the world to present solutions that might be useful here in the American West. We hope the CSU community and others from across the West will join us for a stellar speaker line-up, a solutions-oriented approach, and a chance to build new, and perhaps unexpected, connections.”
Speakers and panel discussions
Among the speakers at the 2022 Symposium is Jay Famiglietti, a water researcher who leads the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan. Panel discussions on cities, agriculture, and innovation opportunities will seek to inform western water discussions by drawing on the experiences of experts from government agencies, private industry, and municipalities as far away as Portugal and Cape Town, South Africa.
Two additional panel discussions will examine lessons and opportunities related to international water agreements. One will focus on the Columbia River Treaty, which the United States and Canada signed in 1961 and governs the construction and operation of dams on a river that begins in the mountains of British Columbia, flows south through eastern Washington, and then turns west, defining the border between Oregon and Washington on its way to the Pacific. The other will explore solutions involving the United States and Mexico, both of which rely on water from two rivers, the Colorado and Rio Grande, that have their headwaters in Colorado.
In the future, the Water in the West Symposium will be held at the CSU Spur Hydro building, which opens in January 2023.
The Symposium switched to a virtual format in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID precautions. This year, attendees have the option of attending in-person sessions at the Seawell Ballroom or participating virtually. A combined reception at CSU Spur the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 2, will bring Symposium participants together with the ranchers, farmers, conservationists, land managers, scientists, and others attending Regenerate 2022, an annual conference focused on sharing knowledge and building a culture of resilience.
The event will take place just weeks before the Spur campus’s third building, Hydro, opens in January. In coming years, Hydro will house the Water in the West Symposium and a range of programs and initiatives focused on water research, conservation, and education. Among these will be Denver Water’s new water quality lab, which will serve to inform the public while providing capacity for more than 200,000 tests each year to monitor the quality of water before treatment and after it is prepared for distribution to customers across the metropolitan area.
Program details and registration information for the 2022 Water in the West Symposium are available at csuspur.org/witw/.
About CSU Spur
CSU Spur is a new, free educational year-round public life-long learning destination in Denver focused on engaging preK-12 students, families, and visitors around food, water, and health. CSU Spur showcases the work of the CSU System campuses: CSU, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global, and offers degree programs that originate from the campus offerings. Spur is built upon the land-grant mission of access to education and the belief that students can be anything they want to be. To inspire learners of all ages to engage in important world issues, CSU Spur brings together scientists to collaborate, puts science on-display, and showcases career paths. The CSU Spur campus provides immersive learning experiences and cutting-edge research across three buildings: Vida, Terra, and Hydro. Learn more at CSUSpur.org.