Water in the West Symposium

The inaugural Water in the West Symposium, presented by CSU and held at the McNichols Civic Center Building in downtown Denver, sold out with more than 400 attendees, and showcased more than 30 speakers from across the state and nation representing diverse perspectives in water. The Symposium mirrored the programing and conversations that will be ongoing at CSU Spur.

Please click the hyperlinks below to view video of the sessions or view slides from presenters, where applicable.


8-9 a.m.

Breakfast + registration

9-9:10 a.m.

Amy Parsons – Colorado State University System

9:10-9:20 a.m.

Opening Remarks
Secretary Tom Vilsack – Colorado State University System

9:20-9:40 a.m.

Challenge and Opportunity: Introduction to the CSU Water Building
Tony Frank Colorado State University System
Jim Lochhead Denver Water

9:40-10:10 a.m.

Colorado Water Plan: Snapshots and Next Steps
Becky Mitchell Colorado Water Conservation Board (slides)

10:10-11:30 a.m.

Colorado Impact: Water Success and Challenges Across Sectors
Moderator: Doug Kemper – Colorado Water Congress
Mizraim Cordero Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Bart Miller – Western Resource Advocates
Don Brown – Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
Mike Reidy – Leprino Foods Company (slides)
Dan Haley – Colorado Oil & Gas Association (slides)

11:30-11:45 a.m.


11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Water Forum for Gubernatorial Candidates + lunch
Moderator: Russell George – Boettcher Foundation Trustees

1:15-1:45 p.m.


1:45-2:45 p.m.

Taps and Bottle Caps: Water Sustainability in the Beverage Industry
Moderator: Jim Francis – Beverage Business Institute, CSU
Bruce Karas – Coca-Cola North America
Marco Ugarte – MillerCoors

2:45-3 p.m.

City Water Strategies
Jerry Tinianow – Office of Sustainability, City and County of Denver

3-3:15 p.m.


3:15-4:15 p.m.

Seeking Solutions: Colorado Leads in Water Research
Moderator: Reagan Waskom – Colorado Water Institute
Mazdak Arabi – Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, CSU (slides)
Brad Udall – Colorado Water Institute (slides)
Jim McQuarrie – Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (slides)
Meagan Schipanski – College of Agriculture, CSU (slides)

4:15-4:30 p.m.

Trout Tank Winners Pitches
Introduction: Jocelyn Hittle – Colorado State University System
Andrew Todd – Running Rivers (slides)
Mike Smith – RenewWest (slides)

4:30-5 p.m.

Colorado Water: Water Legacy and Vision
John Hickenlooper – Governor of Colorado

5-6:30 p.m.


FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018

8-9 a.m.

Breakfast + registration

9-9:15 a.m.

Welcome and Day One Recap
Amy Parsons – Colorado State University System

9:15-10:15 a.m.

Dollars for Droplets: Financing Water Projects
Moderator: Diane Barrett – City and County of Denver
Secretary Tom Vilsack – Colorado State University System
Ted Kowalski – Colorado River Initiative, Walton Family Foundation
Rich Thorsten – Water.org (slides)
Tom Halverson – CoBank
Gili Elkin – Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund (slides)

10:15-11 a.m.

Federal Focus: Water in the West
Host: Kelly Brough – Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Cynthia Lummis – Former Congresswoman-at-large, Wyoming
Michael Bennet – U.S. Senator, Colorado

11-11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.

Water and Food Dialogue
Sonny Perdue – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack – Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

12-12:05 p.m.

Special Announcement
Deborah Hamlin – Irrigation Association (slides)

12:05-12:15 p.m.

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors

Premier sponsors

CoBank logo
Denver Water logo

Supporting sponsors

Leprino Foods logo

Contributing sponsors

Zoma Lab logo

Additional sponsors

Business for Water Stewardship logo
CSU Office of the Vice President for Research logo
Hach logo
Molson Coors logo
National Western Center logo
Swire Coca-Cola logo

In-kind / Expo Table sponsors

Colorado Water Center logo
Einsteins and Caribou Coffee logo
New Belgium Brewing logo
TAP-IN logo
Water Foundry logo


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