Join the discussion! We gather water-related events locally and from around the world to share on our calendar. Explore through the months to find opportunities for celebrating and learning about water.
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Featured Water Event
August 20 – 21
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Hosted by Water Education Colorado
Open to all educators who teach adults or school-age children about water in Colorado. The topic of day one is Equipping Learners for Action in a Climate of Uncertainty. The topic of day two Activities for Hydrology, Climate & Colorado’s Water Future.
CSU Seminar Series
Annual Water Events
Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectures
The Geological Society of America, Hydrogeology Division selects nominated lecturers based on outstanding contributions to hydrogeology or a closely related field through original research and public communication, and the potential for continued contributions to the profession. In partnership with the CSU Department of Geosciences, we have hosted Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturers since 2017.
Water in the West Symposium
Every year, this event mirrors programing and conversations that will be ongoing at Spur. The 2020 CSU System Water in the West Symposium will be held Nov. 18-19, 2020 at the Seawell Ballroom in downtown Denver.
Poudre River Forum
The Poudre River Forum, an initiative of the Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Work Group (PRTI), brings together those on the Poudre who farm, deliver clean potable water, drink beer, recreate, and advocate for river health to learn from one another and to explore how we can move from conflict to collaboration.
World Water Day
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, focuses on the importance of freshwater. The Colorado Water Center started celebrating World Water Day at CSU in 2015.
AGU Hydrology Days
The Annual American Geophysical Union Hydrology Days meeting provides a unique opportunity for students, faculty, staff and practitioners to engage in wide range of water-related interdisciplinary research topics. The CoWC supports this spring meeting in collaboration with CSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and One Water Solutions Institute.
CSU Earth Week
Earth Week highlights some of the ways CSU is committed to sustainability every week of the year. CSU is hosting a virtual Earth Day Festival starting April 20, 2020 with tons of fun ways to interact at Earthday.colostate.edu.
Dr. Norm Evans Lecture Series
The Dr. Norm Evans Endowment, established by Ken and Ruth Wright of Wright Water Engineers, honors Norm Evans, director of the Colorado Water Center from 1967 to 1988. This annual lecture brings distinguished individuals to CSU to speak on water management, education, and policy.
Hach Walk for Water
The Annual Hach Walk for Water brings together Hach associates, along with their families, friends, neighbors, and community leaders to replicate the walk that so many people in the developing world take daily to secure water for their families. The Colorado Water Center has partnered with Hach on the Walk for six years raising upwards of $300,000.
Past Water Events
The globalCARE Alliance™: A safer, cleaner environmental future Seminar
February 25, 2019
Seminar by Dr. Ravi Naidu, Global Innovation Chair & Director at the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle
Australia is one of a few countries globally providing significant funds towards research on environmental contaminants, and their presence, measurement, risks, and remediation. To this end, through a competitive grant submission, a Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) was established in 2005. CRC CARE was awarded a grant of $200 million over seven years to tackle major contamination problems confronted by owners of contaminated sites and regulatory agencies. Given CRC CARE’s outstanding performance in both research and policy innovation, its funding was extended in 2011 to 2020, with an additional $300 million. This presentation will initially focus on CRC CARE, outlining the fundamental and applied research being conducted, case examples of technologies developed and their utilisation. This will be followed with an overview of a new initiative, globalCARETM Alliance, which is an extension of CRC CARE beyond Australia.
Professor Ravi Naidu’s work focuses on the remediation of contaminated soil, water, and air, and the potential impacts of contaminants upon environmental and human health at local, national and global levels. He is a global leader in the transition to the now widely accepted ‘risk-based’ approach to managing contaminated sites as well as the shift to in situ remediation—cleaning up contamination where it lies, rather than the traditional ‘dig and dump’ approach. Together, these approaches potentially save industry millions, if not billions, of dollars annually and make clean-up far more feasible and effective. Prof. Naidu received his PhD and DSc in environmental science from Massey University, New Zealand.
The Water in Africa Symposium was held from April 16-18, 2019 at Colorado State University. The three-day event included three keynote presentations, three panels of invited experts in three thematic areas, and a student poster session.
The Symposium was broadly focused on innovations and challenges associated with water and sustainability throughout the African continent – with focal themes in the areas of water, land & conservation; water & societal change; and water in Africa 2050.
An Overview of USGS Colorado Center Capabilities Seminar
October 3, 2018
Colorado Water Science Center: How the USGS studies, applies, and shares water resource information in the Centennial State
Featuring David Mau, Director, USGS Colorado Water Science Center
As one of the 48 Science Centers in the Water Resources Discipline of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the USGS Colorado Water Science Center is an integral part of a Federal agency devoted to data collection, applied science, and dissemination of information. In Colorado, USGS water-resources activities are conducted through formal partnerships with more than 125 other organizations representing all levels of government. These activities include extensive data-collection efforts and other studies around streamflow, water quality, and groundwater levels—the results of which are well documented and widely shared. The Colorado Water Science Center is also helping address a range of issues specific to the state, such as water sustainability across agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses; energy development and other human impacts on water quality and quantity; and challenges associated with disturbances like drought, wildfires, and mine remediation. David will explore these efforts and more as he highlights the role of the Center in the context of our state’s emerging water resource needs and opportunities.
Dating back to the mid-1800s, settlers in Colorado and the western US advanced visionary projects and legal frameworks that created sustainable water supplies for municipalities, agriculture, and industry. Today, settlers continue to arrive in Colorado, the diversity of our water needs has grown, and the need for visionary initiatives facilitating sustainable water supplies is as strong as ever.
Following the creation of the Colorado Water Plan in 2016, CSU convened stakeholders from across Colorado to share emerging knowledge, collaboratively debate critical issues, and prioritize future work to address key water management challenges. The 2018 Subsurface Water Storage Symposium will build on these topics and move the conversation forward around our state’s emerging and increasingly urgent water needs.
Keynote Address by author and water storage pioneer David G. Pyne. For more than forty years, David has been at the forefront of subsurface water storage through his global advancement of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR).
Record of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal in Conemaugh River Lake Sediments Seminar
January 30, 2017
Seminar by Dr. Bill Burgos, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State University
Combining horizontal drilling with high volume hydraulic fracturing has increased the extraction of hydrocarbons from low-permeability oil and gas (O&G) formations across the US. This increase in O&G production has been accompanied by an increase in wastewater production. Surface water discharge of O&G wastewater poses risks to aquatic and human health from contaminants that accumulate in the water column and sediments. Inadequate treatment of wastewater by centralized waste treatment (CWT) plants can result in contamination from radionuclides, metals, and organic micropollutants. This seminar will discuss a study that evaluated the impact of surface water disposal of O&G wastewater from CWT plants upstream of the Conemaugh River Lake in western PA and the potential risks from contaminated sediments to humans using these streams for drinking water sources and to the ecosystem services provided by this water source.
The Critical Role of Water in Critical Zone Science: An Exploration of Water Fluxes in the Earth’s Permeable Skin Seminar
February 1, 2017
Seminar by National Groundwater Association Darcy Lecturer Dr. Kamini Singha, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines
Earth’s “critical zone” — the zone of the planet from treetops to base of groundwater — is critical because it is a sensitive region, open to impacts from human activities, while providing water necessary for human consumption and food production. Quantifying water movement in the subsurface is critical to predicting how water-driven critical zone processes respond to changes in climate and human perturbation of the natural system. While shallow soils and aboveground parts of the critical zone can be easy to instrument and explore, the deeper parts of the critical zone — through the soils and into rock — are harder to access, leaving many open questions about the role of water in this environment. This seminar opens the black box in the subsurface and sheds light on a few key subsurface processes that control water movement and availability: linkages between changes in evapotranspiration and subsurface water stores, water movement in three dimensions over large areas, and potential control of slope aspect on subsurface permeability. Geophysical tools are central to the quantitative study of these problems in the deeper subsurface where we do not have easy access for observation.
Thirsty Land Film Screening
February 8, 2017
Thirsty Land is a documentary film that tells the story about extreme drought, agriculture, & the water crisis in the western United States and how these challenges impact farmers, urban communities, and the environment.
The depleted water resources in the American Southwest is one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century facing agriculture and growing urban communities. The drought on this region has local, national, and global impacts not only for the present, but also for future generations.
UPRIVER Film Screening
April 6, 2017
UPRIVER is a ‘watershed film’ that explores one of the Nation’s most active river conservation movements. Within Oregon’s Willamette River system, the film focuses on people from all walks of life who are coming together to revive the health of this large river and the life it supports.
Poudre River Panel Discussion
April 26, 2017
Is the Poudre River Ecologically Sustainable? What Does ‘The Science’ Say?
A science-based discussion about the Poudre River’s ecological health under current and proposed water management schemes. Watch the video of the event.
Dan Baker, Instructor, CSU, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Kevin Bestgen, Research Scientist, CSU Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Mark Easter, Ecologist, CSU Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and Chair, Save The Poudre
Ken Kehmeier, Senior Aquatic Biologist, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Jen Shanahan, Watershed Planner, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas
Moderated by LeRoy Poff, River Ecologist and Professor, CSU Dept. of Biology
Dr. Woldezion Mesghinna Lecture & Book Signing
September 13, 2017
How Sub-Saharan Agrica Can Acheive Food Security and Ascend its Economicy to the Initial Stages of Light Industrialization
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is facing an ever-worsening food security crisis due to rapid population growth, inadequate domestic food production, and a general lack of sound resource management. In his innovative new book, Dr. Woldezion Mesghinna addresses the root cause to this problem: dependence on subsistence agriculture. Confronted by these problems and more, SSA faces a bleak future of starvation and social collapse if traditional rainfed subsistence farming continues to be the dominant agricultural production system employed by the region’s farmers. Traditional rainfed agriculture is practiced on 95% of the land currently being cultivated in SSA. It is in this context that this book, in an effort to help SSA countries, provides a comprehensive guide to science-engineering-based principles and methods that, if broadly implemented in conjunction with supporting government public policies and programs, could substantially and sustainably increase their domestic food production and associated improvements in living standards, reduce poverty, and foster multi-sector economic growth critical to the region’s eventual ascension to industrialization.
This one-day symposium on water equity and environmental justice included stories and dialogue with authors, academics, and citizens about their experiences with the privatization of water, water as a human right, and access to safe water and sanitation for everyone. David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, delivered the keynote address on the Dakota Access pipeline conflict. CoWC invited Archambault our 2019 Distinguished Lecturer for the Dr. Norm Evans Lecture Series.
From the Land Down Under: Microbial Community Dynamics and Metabolic Processes Influencing Organic Additives in Black Shales Seminar
November 14, 2017
Seminar by Paula Mouser, Associate Professor in Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering at University of New Hampshire
Large volumes of water containing chemical additives and microbial biomass are injected into the subsurface during hydraulic fracturing of black shale. Biotransformation of chemical additives occurs when microorganisms degrade organic additives in fracture fluids stored on site, and brines produced from the well. Biodegradation of organic compounds has important ramifications on gas productivity through poor proppant placement, fracture clogging, gas souring, and corrosion of well infrastructure. It also has serious implications on human health when unintended toxic metabolites are generated in production brines and require management at the surface. This talk presents genomic and mass spectrometry information supporting the presence and role of microbial communities in degrading organic contaminants, with examples from Marcellus and Utica shale wells.
Workshop on Shepherding Water in Colorado for Colorado River Compact Security
November 14, 2017
A workshop on shepherding water within the State of Colorado for the purpose of providing security under the Colorado River Compact was hosted by the Colorado Water Center and the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment on Nov. 14, 2017 in Summit County. The purpose of the workshop was to obtain perspectives from the participants about shepherding and the larger context of Compact security that it is part of. Attendees included individuals associated with state government, water providers, conservation and irrigation districts, and municipalities.
Hans Albert Einstein: Albert’s Son & Pioneering Engineer Seminar
April 27, 2016
Seminar presented by author Robert Ettema, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University
Dr. Robert Ettema is the Harold Short Endowed Chair at Colorado State University. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at Auckland University, New Zealand. Dr. Ettema has held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Iowa and the University of Wyoming prior to joining Colorado State University in the fall of 2015. His main research and expertise interests involve a range of aspects regarding water engineering, including: hydraulic structures, river mechanics, and cold-regions considerations.
Dr. Ettema was awarded the Hans Albert Einstein Award for his international recognition in advancing insight and engineering methods regarding sediment transport processes at bridge waterways and other hydraulic structures, sediment transport under ice cover and river morphology, and for promoting river mechanics education and history.
Per the 2016 White House Water Summit, “…there is a need to shine a spotlight on the importance of cross-cutting, creative solutions to solving the water problems.” Similar themes can be found in the State of Colorado’s Water Plan, including “storage as we conserve” and in the commitments being made by water districts across Colorado and the West.
An emerging “cross-cutting, creative solution” is the use of subsurface water storage (SSWS) in conjunction with existing surface water systems. SSWS projects can simplify permitting for new storage, provide an economical alternative to surface storage, minimize environmental impacts of new water storage, enhance the resiliency of water systems, and conserve water by reducing seepage and evaporative losses.
A one-and-a-half-day symposium addressing SSWS was held on the CSU campus in November 2016. Nearly 100 researchers, practitioners, and water professionals participated by sharing emerging knowledge, collaboratively debated critical issues, and prioritized future work to address key water management challenges. The symposium was sponsored by the CSU Water Center with support from the Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, Warner College of Natural Resources, and the Colorado Water Institute.