Past Conferences

2023 Conference

Constructing A Resilient Future: Rebuilding from the Ground Up

December 13-15, 2023


December 13

Upper Colorado River Commission

Colorado River Board of California

Background Research: A Brief History of the Colorado River – The Law of the River from the bottom up, not the top down: a water user’s perspective. | VIDEO ⟶

• Margaret Vick, Attorney, Colorado River Indian Tribes | PDF ⟶

Site Review: Effectiveness of Current & Past Programs – Beginning with an overview of the State of the Colorado River, this session will feature four case studies examining the pros and cons associated with several major 21st-Century water resource management programs that continue to contribute to the preservation of the Colorado River. | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Terry Fulp, Former Regional Director, Colorado River Basin, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • Patrick Dent, Deputy General Manager, Central Arizona Water Conservation District | PDF ⟶
  • Amy Haas, Executive Director, Colorado River Authority of Utah | PDF ⟶
  • Eric Kuhn, General Manager, Retired, Colorado River Water Conservation District | PDF ⟶
  • David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Bureau of Reclamation | PDF ⟶
  • Greg Walch, General Counsel, Southern Nevada Water Authority | PDF ⟶

Drafting a New Plan: Future Policies and Programs – The presenters from the previous session will be joined by representatives from a broad range of Colorado River users in a panel discussion on the current and potential strategies that will help stabilize the river and inform the next stage of river guidelines. | VIDEO ⟶

  • Lorelei Cloud, Vice Chairwoman, Southern Ute Indian Tribe
  • Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Edalin Koziol, Senior Policy Advisor, Colorado River Program, The Nature Conservancy
  • Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor, Gila River Indian Tribe
  • Andy Mueller, General Manager, Colorado River Water Conservation District

The Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado | VIDEO ⟶

  • Dave Showalter, Conservation Photographer and Author

December 14

Conference Kick-Off | VIDEO ⟶

  • Opening remarks: Aaron Chavez, CRWUA President, Executive Director, San Juan Water Commission
  • Tribal Blessing: Jordan D. Joaquin, President, Quechan Indian Tribe

Outreach to the Impacted Communities: Seven States’ Perspectives | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Karen Kwon, Associate Project Director, Colorado River Sustainability Campaign | PDF ⟶
  • Tom Buschatzke, Arizona
  • John J. Entsminger, Nevada
  • Brandon Gebhart, Wyoming
  • JB Hamby, California
  • Estevan López, New Mexico
  • Becky Mitchell, Colorado
  • Gene Shawcroft, Utah

Constructing Strong Foundations: A Basin Sectors Panel Discussion | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Brenda Burman, General Manager, Central Arizona Water Conservation District | PDF ⟶
  • Michael Cohen, Senior Researcher, Pacific Institute | PDF ⟶
  • George Frisvold, Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Arizona Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics | PDF ⟶
  • Ed Gerak, Executive Director, Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association of Arizona | PDF ⟶
  • Kestrel Kunz, Southern Rockies Protection Director, American Whitewater | PDF ⟶
  • Jennifer Pitt, Colorado River Program Director, National Audubon Society | PDF ⟶
  • Daryl Vigil, Co-Director, Water and Tribes Initiative | PDF ⟶

Evaluating Urban Best Practices: Science & Innovation in M & I – A deep dive into how M&I purveyors are implementing policies and programs to help ensure new and existing development is managed in a way that is responsive to the West’s changing water realities. Panelists will discuss new or emerging technological solutions for improved water efficiency, data analysis and decision making. | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Ron Burke, Executive Director, Alliance for Water Efficiency | PDF ⟶
  • Nate Allen, Executive Director, WaterStart Innovations
  • Karletta Chief, Director, University of Arizona Indigenous Resilience Center | PDF ⟶
  • Elizabeth Crosson, Chief Sustainability, Resiliency and Innovation Officer, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California | PDF ⟶
  • Pilar Harris, Corporate Social Responsibility, Government Relations and Sustainability, Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix | PDF ⟶
  • Rick Maloy, Director of Communications, Central Utah Water Conservancy District | PDF ⟶
  • Colby Pellegrino, Deputy General Manager, Resources, Southern Nevada Water Authority | PDF ⟶

Considering Rural Enhancements: Innovations and Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture – Agriculture, in the public eye, is often oversimplified— presented as an antiquated and inefficient mass consumer of the basin’s water supply. But scientific innovation continues to leap forward, providing producers with new strategies and technologies for drought adaptation and increased conservation and efficiency. This panel features both academic and the on-the-ground leaders of Colorado River Basin agriculture – scientists, farmers, and ranchers working to reduce consumptive use across diverse Lower and Upper Basin agricultural landscapes, and to simultaneously ensure local, regional, and national food and water security for future generations. | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Vineetha Kartha, Colorado River Programs Manager, Central Arizona Water Conservation District
  • Julie Bushell, CEO, Ethos Connected LLC | PDF ⟶
  • Perry Cabot, Research Scientist, Colorado State University Extension | PDF ⟶
  • Carlos A. de la Parra, Founding Partner, Centro Luken de Estrategias en Agua y Medio Ambiente | PDF ⟶
  • Josh Moore, Farm Manager, Colorado River Indian Tribes | PDF ⟶
  • Tina Anderholt Shields, Water Department Manager, Imperial Irrigation District | PDF ⟶
  • Mike Vickrey, Fifth Generation Rancher, President, Green Valley River Cattlemen’s Association | PDF ⟶

December 15

Bringing It All Together | VIDEO ⟶

  • Rob Manning, Director of Public Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation
  • Jaci Gould Director, Lower Colorado River Region, Bureau of Reclamation | PDF ⟶
  • Wayne Pullan, Director, Upper Colorado River Region, Bureau of Reclamation | PDF ⟶

Sovereign to Sovereign Dialogue – Colorado River Tribes | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: Anne Castle, Senior Fellow, Getches-Wilkinson Center, University of Colorado Law School
  • Amelia Flores Chairwoman, Colorado River Indian Tribes
  • Manuel Heart, Chairman, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
  • Brenda Jesus, Delegate, 25th Navajo Nation Council
  • Camille Calimlim Touton, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation

Sovereign to Sovereign Dialogue – Mexico Partners & the U.S. | VIDEO ⟶

  • Moderator: David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Bureau of Reclamation
  • Julian Escutia Consul in Las Vegas, Secretariat of Foreign Relations
  • Maria-Elena Giner, U.S. Commissioner, U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission
  • Antonio Rascon, Principal Engineer, Mexican Section, International Boundary and Water Commission

Concluding Speakers | VIDEO ⟶

  • Michael Brain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior
  • Camille Calimlim Touton Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation