Coming together for Colorado’s most valuable resource

Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference

October 5-7, 2021

“Together Like Never Before” 

Each fall, Water Education Colorado partners with the Colorado Riparian Association and the Colorado Watershed Assembly to produce the Sustaining Colorado Watersheds conference. Intended to expand cooperation and collaboration throughout Colorado in natural resource conservation, protection and enhancement, this event engages participants through discussions on emerging water issues, innovative projects, and an invaluable networking setting.

This year’s conference theme, “Together Like Never Before,” is a celebration of what we hope will be the opportunity to physically re-convene, but to do so thoughtfully, bringing all that we have learned through our shared experiences weathering a pandemic and significant political upheaval. It allows us to take a look at what could be possible as we re-shape our thinking and our approaches to working together, with new voices at the table, in the time ahead.


Our 2021 Conference theme combines a few important subthemes: 

1) First, we have a connected community working collaboratively to address watershed-related challenges, and we aim to be back together this year, enjoying each other’s company and learning from one another, safely, in an in-person setting if possible.

2) Second, across the Colorado water community, and the whole of our nation, there is broad recognition that we need to find ways to address racial and socioeconomic divides to bring new voices to the table and pursue increased access and equitable involvement. This is relevant to our fields of water policy, water management, and water protection and especially public education, participation and outreach. How can we, as a state watershed community, effectively address equity, diversity and inclusion issues to be “Together Like Never Before?”

3) Finally, in considering identified gaps between science and policy, how are practitioners, academics, educators and decision makers finding success in making our policies a better reflection of science than ever before? What adaptive management tools are most useful? Where is there still room for improvement?

As always, within these sub-themes, the conference will cover a cross-section of topics ranging from forest health to flood risk management, stakeholder outreach to climate change, streamflow protection to protecting private land, river restoration to stormwater management, project permitting to water quality protection, and all aspects of adaptation. After last year’s fire season, we plan to have a significant focus on fire recovery and improved wildfire resilience.

Let’s open our minds, reconnect with our colleagues and share our hope for what we can accomplish together.


2020 Conference: “Business as (Un)Usual”

The 2020 conference was held virtually with great participation. Conference presentations and recordings are posted!

View 2020 recordings

Who should attend the conference?

  • Conservation and restoration practitioners
  • Water quality specialists
  • Land use and water supply planners
  • Elected officials and managers
  • Watershed groups and coalitions
  • Citizens engaged in watershed work

Support the conference by becoming a sponsor. Contact Sami Miller at with interest.