Dealing with long-term drought will be the focus of the Colorado River District's annual water seminar from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Colorado Mesa University.

The theme of the event, which is open to the public, is "Uncertainty: You Can Count on It: Feast and Famine on the Colorado River and How to Plan for It."

One speaker, scientist Jeff Lukas, will give a nod to the recent favorable shift in precipitation in talking about the turn from a famine snowpack in 2018 to a feast of one in 2019.

But most of the event will address the lingering issues of drought in the Colorado River Basin and related issues, such as how the river's water got over-allocated and Lake Powell's water level got so low.

Keynote speaker Douglas Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado Law School, will discuss the emerging idea of pursuing a "grand bargain" between states in the river's Upper and Lower basins to address water shortages over the long term.

Other speakers will talk about subjects such as the 1922 Colorado River Compact, drought contingency planning, and what water users are at risk in case of cutbacks of uses on the river.

Among the other speakers will be Anne Castle, former assistant secretary for water and science at the Department of Interior; Eric Kuhn, author and former river district general manager; current river district general manager Andy Mueller; and scientist Brad Udall with Colorado State University's Colorado Water Institute.

The cost of the seminar, including lunch, is $35 for those who pre-register by today. Cost at the door is $45.

To register, visit

For information, email or call 970-945-8522, ext. 236.

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