Tag Archives: Water Leadership

Tenth Water Leaders Cohort Prepares for First Class

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Participants in the 2016 Water Leaders class brainstorm how to use our strengths in solving problems, with the help of facilitator Cheryl Benedict.

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education is excited to announce its 2017 Water Leaders class, as participants ready for their first day of an eight-month journey that begins next week on Monday, March 13. The Water Leaders program is recognized as the premier professional development course for Colorado’s water community. This year will mark the 10th graduating class of Water Leaders, and CFWE could not be more proud of program’s evolution.

Through the Water Leaders program, CFWE aims to positively impact the Colorado water profession by developing a pipeline of water leaders across diverse fields with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of Colorado water.

The 15 participants in the 2017 cohort have been selected through a very competitive application process. Welcome to the 2017 Water Leaders Cohort:

Josh Baile
Jackie Brown
Devon Buckels
Logan Burba
Michelle DeLaria
Sarah Dominick
Alexander Funk
Heather Justus
Christopher Kurtz
Josh Nims
Leann Noga
Jessica Olson
Emma Regier Reesor
Scott Schreiber
Troy Wineland

Click here for a full list of Water Leaders Alumni. This active group of more than 100 alumni engage in networking events and regular ongoing leadership offerings.

Visit our website to learn more about the Water Leaders Program.

 

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The Connector in Chief on the Colorado River

By Jim Pokrandt

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Pat Mulroy delivers the keynote address at the DU Water Law Symposium. Photo credit: Greg Hobbs

Call her the connector in chief. That is, connector in chief of the dots. In her new role in academia and water policy, Pat Mulroy, the retired chief of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and now senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy for The Brookings Institution, has poured it on in her speeches—connecting water issues across the world with relevance to the seven-state Colorado River Basin.

Is California’s drought a Colorado River Basin problem? For a state whose only reliable water sources is the Colorado River, you bet, as besieged as it is with long term drought itself. Is California’s issue with the delta smelt and inability to pump water from Northern California to the south through the State Water Project a Colorado River problem? Ditto. It puts more pressure on the Colorado River. See above.

How about Flint, Mich.’s lead-laden drinking water crisis? Is that a problem for the Southwest? Absolutely, said Mulroy. Why? “It’s not that they made a mistake, it’s that they did not say anything,” she says. That fact has eroded the public’s trust in drinking water providers.

“It is going to affect the way we manage water resources in this basin,” Mulroy said. With the decision making that still needs to be made in managing the Colorado River’s future, mistrust generated by Flint is not going to help.

patmulroyduMulroy brought these messages and more to the April 8 University of Denver Water Review forum entitled “Conflicts and Cooperation: the Past, Present and Future of Interstate Water Compacts.” Find a video recording of her presentation and others here.

Don’t mistake Mulroy for a pessimist. She believes that the Colorado River Compact of 1922 has over time created a model of cooperation and collaboration among the seven states in the basin and the federal government. While locals may wonder how true that is, Mulroy has seen the credence borne out by the international interest in how the Colorado River works. “When you compare the Colorado River Basin to other parts of the world, we are the most functional water community anywhere,” said Mulroy, who has hosted delegation after delegation.

The next generation of water leaders has been handed that “legacy,” she said. “You will need to continue that partnership to deal with the stresses coming to the Compact in the next 20 years.”

Jim PoJim_Pokrandtkrandt is the Community Affairs Director for the Colorado River District.

For another video presentation from Pat Mulroy and blog post from Jim Pokrandt, see his Nov. 2015 blog post “Not too late to catch Colorado River experts: Video presentations now available online.”

 

Learn more about the Colorado River Basin and compact through CFWE’s recent programs:

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Leaders in the Rio Grande River Basin

By Heather Dutton, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project

Rio Grande LeadersIt is a critical time for the Rio Grande Basin. Our history is linked to a common thread: being water short. We are connected by a system of rivers and streams, and two aquifers, which are currently being used faster than they are being replenished. As such, the people of the Rio Grande Basin have got to answer
a complex question: How will we balance water use with supply in order to ensure there is a future for agriculture in the San Luis Valley? This is just one in a host of questions that people in our basin will have to work together to answer in the coming years. And I don’t just mean people of one generation with one set of ideas. We are going to need all the creative and engaged community members we can get to address current and future water related issues.

This need is why the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project (RGHRP), San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District (SLVWCD), Rio Grande Water Conservation District (RGWCD), and Rio Grande Water, Conservation, and Education Initiative (RGWCEI) came together to seek out the latest crop of water leaders by putting on a leadership seminar, the Rio Grande Leaders Course, in March 2013.

The goal of the Course is to develop community members’ interest and encourage participation in efforts to safeguard and develop water resources in the San Luis Valley by providing an opportunity to engage in education and networking with water management leaders. In short, we hope to foster the new generation of leaders in the local water community through educational lectures and networking. Continue reading

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