AWRA-CO and CGWA co-hosting annual symposium highlighting harmony in hydrology

As a water community, how will we balance the competing needs of various stakeholders in the face of climate change, drought, and increasing water demands? Collaboration, communication, and creativity will all be crucial for building long-lasting solutions to today’s water issues. As a way to foster these conversations, the Colorado Chapter of the American Water Resources Association and the Colorado Ground Water Association are excited to co-host their annual symposium to be held at the Mt. Vernon Canyon Club on April 19th. The theme for the 2024 Symposium is Harmony in Hydrology: Balancing Interests for a Shared Water Future. The symposium will feature a full day of engaging and educational technical content in addition to a keynote presentation from Lauren Ris, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The symposium will offer multiple networking opportunities during session breaks and during lunch, and the event will be capped off with a happy hour and silent auction. Proceeds from the silent auction go directly to CGWA and AWRA scholarship recipients.

As the theme indicates, the symposium will highlight examples of individuals and groups collaborating creatively, working across physical and political boundaries, and using cutting-edge data and techniques to plan for resilience in an uncertain future. When developing the symposium program, the goal was to highlight collaborative efforts and foster forward-thinking discussions about how to build a sustainable future for a broad set of stakeholders. The symposium aims to showcase speakers and case studies that can help Colorado’s water resource community expand its knowledge base and begin thinking critically about our shared water future.

The event will kick off with breakfast in the picturesque Mt. Vernon Canyon Club, providing an opportunity for attendees to jump start their morning and connect with colleagues. The morning session will begin in earnest with an update from Water Education Colorado about upcoming WEco happenings including Water Leaders, Water Fluency, the River Basin Tour of the Upper Arkansas, and their upcoming publications. The morning session will also include a keynote speech from Lauren Ris, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Ms. Ris will be speaking on A Framework for Water Resiliency in Colorado.

Keynote Speaker Fred Rothauge speaks at the 2023 AWRA/CGWA Symposium


Presentations in the morning session will highlight creative and collaborative partnerships that find common ground and shared interests between multiple water stakeholders. These presentations will provide not just case studies of successful collaborations, but also showcase tools and techniques for leveraging partner funding, enhancing project management, and cooperative data sharing. Afternoon sessions will focus on water management and planning, as communities look toward an uncertain future and plan for changes in climate, population, and water use. Both morning and afternoon sessions include presentations on collaborative projects outside of Colorado, creating fertile ground for discussion on how to apply outside experience in the Colorado water resource community. Sessions will also include a student presentation from this year’s AWRA and CGWA scholarship winners. Including students in these sessions allows rising professionals to connect with the broader water community while providing insights into the academic pursuits of upcoming water leaders.

Symposium registration is open on both the AWRA website and the CGWA website. Registration spots are filling up quickly, so anyone interested is encouraged to register soon. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

CGWA and AWRA are nonprofit organizations committed to advancing the knowledge and understanding of groundwater hydrology and water resources. Both organizations work to support the education of future groundwater and water resource professionals, each providing annual scholarships to Colorado students in their respective fields.

Skylar Zilliox is a water resources engineer at Brown and Caldwell, where her work primarily focuses on water rights and water resources in the American West. She has experience in historical consumptive use analyses, water supply planning, drought mitigation, and water rights valuations. Prior to her career in engineering, she worked in energy policy and sustainability; this work included several years at a large organic dairy, where she developed renewable energy projects, evaluated carbon emissions targets, and led a company-wide sustainability curriculum. Skylar has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, as well as a B.S. in Engineering Physics and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. If she’s not at her desk, she’s out having fun with her husband and two boys.

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