Whose Water is it? Environmental injustice and water privatization

April 19, 2021

About The Event

A panel of experts came together on the critical topics of water equity, access, and security in this webinar. In recent years, alarms blare as water rights sold to the highest bidder exclude local communities in favor of massive potential profits. Stakeholders from around the region and beyond are collaborating in unique ways to protect future water users. Panelists discussed diverse perspectives with an environmental justice lens.

Webinar Recording

Event Hosts

Center for Environmental Justice
Colorado Water Center at CSU


Peggy E. Montaño

Peggy Montano

Peggy E. Montaño is a shareholder with the Denver law firm of Trout Raley Montaño Freeman Sinor Thompson P.C. Her practice specializes in state and federal court litigation, and federal administrative and legislative strategy. Ms. Montaño has practiced over 35 years including defense against massive federal water right claims by the U.S. Forest Service, numerous water rights adjudications, interstate water issues including compact issues, and waterrelated administrative and federal and state legislative matters. She spent three years representing the State of Colorado as an Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Department of Natural Resources and principally represented the Colorado State Engineer and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. She is General Counsel to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

Ms. Montaño has practiced water and environmental law in private practice since leaving the Attorney General’s Office and has represented major clients, including Denver Water in complex litigation with 17 suburban entities, and numerous county and district governments in Colorado in water right protection and defense.

Cynthia Naha

Cynthia Naha

Cynthia Naha is the Director of Natural Resources Department for the Santo Domingo Tribe and is an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe and is Tewa and Ihanktowan Dakota Oyate (Yankton Sioux). Ms. Naha has worked in various fields, including but not limited to solid waste, recycling, Brownfields, emergency response and preparedness, water quality, climate change, Unexploded Ordinances (UXO), and more. She has worked with several Tribes in Region 9 including the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Reservation, several Pomo Indian Tribes in Northern California, and the Inter-Tribal Council of AZ, Inc.

Throughout the past 16 years, Cynthia has worked to build Tribal environmental capacity and seeks to ensure that the Tribal communities she works with and for, maintain a balance between environmental protection and public health and safety. She enjoys establishing partnerships with neighboring Tribes, Pueblos, Federal and State agencies and holds the Tribal Government seat on the New Mexico Recycling and Illegal Dumping Alliance (NM RAID) and was just nominated to the E-Enterprise Leadership Council. Cynthia is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Farhana Sultana

Farhana Sultana

Dr. Farhana Sultana is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, where she is also the Research Director for Environmental Collaboration and Conflicts at the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflicts and Collaboration (PARCC). Dr. Sultana is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar of political ecology, water governance, post‐colonial development, social and environmental justice, climate change, and feminism. Her research and scholar-activism draw from her experiences of having lived and worked on three continents as well as from her backgrounds in the natural sciences, social sciences, and policy experience.

Prior to joining Syracuse, Dr. Sultana taught at King’s College London and worked at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Author of several dozen publications, her recent books are “The Right to Water: Politics, Governance and Social Struggles” (2012), “Eating, Drinking: Surviving” (2016) and “Water Politics: Governance, Justice, and the Right to Water” (2020). Dr. Sultana graduated Cum Laude from Princeton University (in Geosciences and Environmental Studies) and obtained her Masters and PhD (in Geography) from the University of Minnesota, where she was a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow. She was awarded the Glenda Laws Award from the American Association of Geographers for “outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues” in 2019.


Stephanie A. Malin

Stephanie Malin

Stephanie A. Malin, Ph.D. is an environmental sociologist specializing in environmental and natural resource sociology, governance, and rural development. She conducts community-based and mixed methods research focusing on the community impacts of resource extraction,  energy production, and environmental de-regulation. Her main interests include environmental justice, environmental health, social mobilization, and the socio-environmental effects of market-based economies. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, Stephanie is an award-winning teacher of undergraduate courses on environmental justice, water and society, and environmental sociology and graduate courses in Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology and Environmental Justice.

Event Poster

Whose Water Poster