05/02/2018
June 7-8, 2018 at the University of Colorado School of Law

 

As snowfall levels continue to disappoint, multiple efforts are underway across the Southwest to protect reservoir storage levels, particularly in Lakes Mead and Powell along the Colorado River. These reservoirs-the largest in the US-are critically important, but ultimately, they are dwarfed by the region's largest hydrologic asset: groundwater. Although barely mentioned in the Colorado's "Law of the River," groundwater is not only the primary water supply for many water users (especially in agriculture), but is intertwined with surface water in a variety of ways: physically, legally, and in management. Deplete one resource, and the other will undoubtedly be affected; enhance one, and the benefits can be mutual.

 

Featuring a blend of thematic and case study presentations from across the Southwest (defined broadly), this 2-day conference will examine a variety of salient topics, including:

 

  • Innovative cooperative and market-based governance arrangements in the Edwards Aquifer (TX), Diamond Valley (NV) and the San Luis Valley (CO)
  • Aiding groundwater dependent ecosystems in the San Pedro River (AZ) and the Colorado River Delta
  • Large-scale groundwater export schemes in California (Cadiz) and Nevada (SNWA)
  • Mitigating threats to water quality from oil and gas development (Pavillion, WY), new (and old) uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, and the western legacy of abandoned mines
  • Lessons from interstate compact disputes from groundwater pumping in CO, KS, NE, and NM
  • Using prior appropriation to regulate conjunctive use in the South Platte (CO)
  • Pending legal reforms in Arizona, and implementation challenges of California SGMA
  • The reach of decisions in Hawaii's "groundwater conduit" litigation, and Aqua Caliente in California
  • Using surface water imports to stabilize groundwater supplies
  • Applying emerging technologies for brackish groundwater desalination and aquifer storage and recovery throughout the region

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