Finding solutions to keep more water in the Colorado River for people and nature is the goal of the 2017 Southeastern Utah Water Workshop on Monday, Oct. 16. The Colorado River supplies drinking water to more than 36 million people, irrigates more than 5.5 million acres of land and supports a $26 billion recreation and tourism industry. However, this lifeline of the West is facing serious challenges, including water quantity and quality.
Featuring prominent speakers from across the region addressing key topics on water-related issues around southeastern Utah and the Colorado River Basin, the workshop will be held at the Moab Valley Inn, 711 S. Main St.
“Enduring solutions to our most pressing water issues (depend) on the active involvement of people and partners,” said Sue Bellagamba, Canyonlands Regional Director for The Nature Conservancy in Utah. “This inclusive event is designed to generate positive action that provides the most benefit for people who live near, use, visit and otherwise depend upon the waters (of) the Colorado River system.”
“As the second driest state in the nation, Utah faces a constant challenge to its limited water resources that sustain our communities, our farms and industries and our natural world,” Emery Water Conservancy District Manager Jay Humphrey said. “By working cooperatively together, we can develop solutions that benefit both people and nature.”
Increasing water demands and climate change bring immense challenges to water users in seven states. The workshop will showcase an innovative, market-based conservation program that allows landowners, ranches and cities to take part in a voluntary, compensated water use reduction program. There will also be presentations on endangered fish species, the Colorado River Compact, policy, water-resilient landscape design and nature-based solutions, among other subjects.
The event is coordinated by The Nature Conservancy, Utah State University-Moab, Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University, the Utah Division of Water Rights and the Emery Water Conservancy District.
The workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 16. Early-bird tickets cost $30 before Friday, Oct. 6. All ticket sales after Oct. 6 are $40. Spots are limited. Register at: coloradomesa.edu/water-center.