Colorado River Conference Aug. 26

07/30/04

Issues include poor planning, water misuse, drought and pollution

Issues affecting the Colorado River, the major river of the American Southwest, will be discussed Thurs. Aug. 26 at the University of Utah's Heritage Center.

Titled "Water Management in the Colorado River Basin," the conference is sponsored by the Southwest Center for Environmental Research (SCERP), a consortium of five U.S. universities and several Mexican research institutes. The Utah Engineering Experiment Station at the University of Utah is serving as the meeting's associate sponsor and organizer.

The general public is invited to attend. The registration fee is $25 per person, except $5 for students and seniors over age 65. The fee includes parking, a continental breakfast and lunch.

"The Colorado and its tributaries are the primary source of water for much of the southwestern United States, and it affects water management and supply across the border in Mexico," according to Jack Hamilton, conference director and assistant director of the Utah Engineering Experiment Station. "Poor planning, water misuse, drought and pollution have created a near crisis in those areas that depend on the Colorado River."

The conference will explore Colorado River issues such as water supply and management, the Colorado River Compact and related laws, pollution control and management, vegetation and wildlife management, Native American water rights and management, water quality and conservation, and university research programs dealing with the river.

The conference will open 7:30 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast, followed by 8:30 a.m. welcoming remarks and an 8:40 a.m. keynote address by Patricia Dominguez, special assistant to the commissioner at the International Boundary and Water Commission, an international body that deals with U.S.-Mexican boundary and water treaties and issues.

The program will also include speakers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the Upper Colorado River Commission, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and several southwestern universities.

The sponsoring organization, SCERP, was created in 1989 to analyze possible solutions to air, water and hazardous waste problems that plague the U.S.-Mexican border region. The group works for a sustainable and responsible border economy, an involved bi-national community, a healthy natural environment and proper resource management that provide all its residents a satisfactory and secure quality of life through enhanced employment, education, and business opportunities.

The five U.S. universities in SCERP are the University of Utah, University of Texas at El Paso, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University and San Diego State University.

For more information including online registration, an agenda and directions to the conference and parking see the conference website at http://www.utah.edu/uees/water/water_home.html or call Hamilton at (801) 581-6348.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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