Statewide Roundtable Summit

The fourth Statewide Roundtable Summit was held in Westminster, Colorado on March 12, 2015. It was attended by members of the nine basin roundtables and interested members of the public. Roughly 300 individuals participated in total, 46% were basin roundtable members. Complete with red boxing gloves and warm-up jabs, the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s (CWCB) executive director, James Eklund, began the Summit after opening remarks from John Stulp. Stulp is Governor Hickenlooper’s special policy advisor for water and chairman of the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC). As Eklund stated, “we have pivoted from whether or not we should have a plan, to what that plan should be. As we focus on the first final water plan, our emphasis must be on actionable steps.”

After opening remarks, four panel sessions were held in the morning--one each on agricultural viability, funding, legislation, and permitting. After the panels, all attendees participated in guided table discussions. The new Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, addressed the audience during lunch. Commissioner Brown talked about his childhood, how agriculture has changed, and how important it is to Colorado. Commissioner Brown thanked everyone for their hard work in Colorado water. Two afternoon panels were focused on raising awareness statewide regarding the status of the IBCC’s Conceptual Framework. Based on post-Summit surveys, 96% of respondents rated the 2015 Summit good, very good, or excellent. To access the Summit Executive Summary visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/2015-Summit-ES-FINAL.pdf. It should be noted, too, that as part of the Colorado Water Plan, the deadline for submitting each of the Basin’s Implementation Plans (BIPs) is April 17th and public comments on these and the water plan are due by May 1st. Visit the CWCB website at www.coloradowaterplan.com to provide input and comments.