Water in the West Symposium

“Nothing is more fundamental to life than water. Not only is water a basic need, but adequate safe water underpins the nation’s health, economy, security, and ecology.”

So begins Confronting the Nation’s Water Problems, a policy report issued by the National Research Council. The report calls for increased research and collaboration to solve water resource problems that are “significantly more numerous, complex, and larger in scope than those of the past,” especially in the face of a booming human population and climate change.

The Colorado State University System is taking up the charge, building on longstanding water expertise at CSU. Through research – and by sparking collaborative problem-solving – the System is on a quest to help ensure water quantity and quality for domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreational, and environmental needs.

That work took center stage in November, when the CSU System held its second Water in the West Symposium in Denver to identify challenges and solutions in the management of one of the world’s most precious and increasingly scarce resources. The symposium featured two dozen speakers and attracted a sold-out crowd of nearly 400 attendees representing diverse stakeholder groups.

“Colorado State University is in the perfect position to act as a convener on the issue of water,” said former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a strategic adviser on food and water issues for the CSU System. “As we focus on solutions, we want everyone at the table to be part of this critical conversation.”

The annual Water in the West Symposium is an initial offering of Spur, the future CSU Campus at the National Western Center in north Denver. Groundbreaking for Spur is planned early next year, with opening expected in 2022. Spur will host collaborative research and will offer public education tied to food, energy, water, health, and the environment.

Learn more: National Western Center’s Water in the West Symposium

Gunnison River, Black Canyon in western Colorado
The Gunnison River flows west from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on Colorado's Western Slope.