SWCD’s Annual Seminar

The Southwestern Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) 33rd Annual Seminar was conducted in Durango on April 3rd. There were more than 175 in attendance. After opening remarks and introductions, a preview of the new documentary, the Great Divide, was provided by Harvey Productions. Premier showings of the film will occur throughout the state beginning in the Fall. This was followed by a panel discussion of conservation strategies, to include moderator Steve Harris, Drew Beckwith (Western Resource Advocates), Dominique Gomez (Water Smart Software), Mark Marlowe (Town of Castle Rock), and State Senator Ellen Roberts. After lunch Southwest Colorado water leaders that passed on over the last year--Noland Alexander, Dorris Brennan, Lawrence Huntington, and Ed Toner were recognized. In addition, Jim Isgar received an Outstanding Southwest Colorado Water Leader recognition and John Porter was recognized as providing 25 years of service to the SWCD Board. These honorariums were followed by a panel discussion on the Colorado River Planning Convergence and included moderator Bruce Whitehead, Eric Kuhn (Colorado River Water Conservation District), Ted Kowalski (Colorado Water Conservation Board), and Greg Walch (Southern Nevada Water Authority). A short film, Resilient, by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) was shown, followed by a panel on agriculture’s future in the Colorado River Basin. Kate Greenberg with the NYFC moderated. Included in this panel was Ken Nowak (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation), Pat O’Toole (Family Farm Alliance), and Dustin Stein (Stubborn Farm & Burk Beef). John Stulp, Interbasin Compact Committee Chair, moderated the final State Water Plan panel of the day. Included in this discussion were Carrie Lile, Ann Oliver, and Mike Preston with the Southwest Basin Roundtable. The SWCD Annual Seminar was a resounding success, but a key theme to emerge throughout the day was the graph illustrated here and referred to by various water experts as ‘the Colorado River death spiral.’