Published: May 30, 2017
Image of the Colorado River Horseshoe Bend

Since the turn of the 21st century, storage on the Colorado River has declined, while stress over the region’s water future has intensified. The combined impact of overconsumption, drought and climate change has exposed longstanding problems with the regional water budget and focused national attention on the urgency of improving management.

If you go

Who: Open to the public
What: 2017 Martz Summer Conference
When: Thursday, June 8, and Friday, June 9
Where: Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom
RSVP: Required

Water managers, river advocates and other concerned stakeholders and decision-makers are responding, increasingly through basin-wide initiatives that go beyond specifying how looming shortages will be distributed to actually trying to head-off the most painful potential impacts.

Many of these efforts are at a critical juncture. As they come to fruition, several questions arise: Are we doing the right things? Is it enough? What needs to happen next?

On June 8 and 9, the 2017 Martz Summer Conference, titled "Fighting Back on the Colorado River: Carving Out Progress on Multiple Fronts," will review recent and emerging innovations and evaluate their likely impact on the river system. Topics will include:

  • Progress on upper-basin drought contingency planning, including plans for upstream reservoir reoperations, water banking and demand management;
  • Revised Lake Mead curtailment schedules and the search for a structural deficit solution; 
  • Emerging plans for Salton Sea stabilization;
  • Minute 32X (a successor agreement to President Obama's Minute 319) and the continued fight for delta recovery and expanded U.S.-Mexico partnerships;
  • Efforts to move forward with more flexible use of tribal water resources; and
  • Opportunities and constraints shaping system-wide conservation and augmentation efforts.

The Martz Summer Conference is presented by the University of Colorado Law School's Getches-Wilkinson Center (GWC), which works to further sustainability for our lands, waters and environment.

See the conference agenda for more event details. Faculty, staff, students and members of the media can register to attend at no cost.