2024 Agenda coming soon

2023 Agenda

8:00 am – 9:00 am

A Decade After the Floods

September 2013 saw one of Colorado’s most-devastating natural disasters, with flooding affecting 14 counties, killing 10 people and damaging 26,000 homes. What lessons were learned from this disaster, what mitigation efforts took place, and how do we prevent it from happening again?

Moderator: Alex Hager, KUNC

Panelists: Sean Cronin, St. Vrain & Left Hand Water Conservancy District; John Barnett, Middle South Platte River Alliance; Hally Strevey, Poudre River Coalition; Dr. John C. Tracy, CSU Colorado Water Center

9:10 am – 10:10 am

Regional Risk, Regional Resiliency

Regional stakeholders have long sought to foster regional cooperation in the water space, preserving water resources as a way to promote economic development. What ideas exist for protecting Colorado’s water resources to promote a 21st century economy?

Moderator: James Eklund, Sherman & Howard

Panelists: Clair Bouchard, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado; Sean Chambers, City of Greeley; Chris Matkins, Ally Utility Consulting; Patrick Wells, Northern Water

10:20 am – 11:20 pm

Hitting Home

Observers long have warned of the potential effect of water shortages — or deficiencies in the ability to treat and deliver water to residents and businesses. Now, those warnings are becoming reality, with municipalities struggling to serve growing populations. What issues are affecting the ability to provide water for economic and population growth, and what steps are municipalities taking to address potential — or actual — shortages?

Moderator: Adam Jokerst, WestWater Research LLC

Panelists: Scott Holwick, Lyons Gaddis; Meagan Smith, Town of Wellington; Jessica Thrasher, CSU Colorado Water Center; Darren Nowels, Northern Water

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Plenary Lunch Session

Uncertain Future: the Colorado River, Drought and the Impact on the Front Range

The Colorado River serves as the life’s blood for millions of residents in the West, but prolonged drought conditions threaten everything from drinking water to generation of electricity, including along the Front Range. What are the implications of lower flows in the river, and what will it mean for communities in Northern Colorado?

Moderator: Ted Kowalski, Walton Family Foundation

Panelists: Alexandra Davis, City of Aurora Water; Taylor Hawes, The Nature Conservancy; Amy Ostdiek, Colorado Water Conservation Board; Kyle Whitaker, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District

12:40 pm – 1:40 pm

Inflation Reduction Act Demystified (public-sector)

The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate and energy policy, but what does it mean for governmental bodies as they work to electrify their communities? How can local governments access available funds, and what should be their top priorities?

Moderator: Diego Lopez, Northern Coloado Clean Cities

Panelists: Kevin Gertig, City of Loveland; David Hornbacher, City of Longmont; Kerri Ishmael, City of Fort Collins; Jonathan Koehn, City of Boulder

Inflation Reduction Act Demystified (private-sector)

Local governments aren’t the only beneficiaries of the Inflation Reduction Act. The private sector, including businesses and property owners, can reap big benefits from the federal investment in addressing climate change. What provisions are important to manufacturers, tech companies, property owners and others, and how do they access these funds?

Moderator: Josie Plaut, Institute for the Built Environment at CSU

Panelists: Ida Mae Isaac, Colorado Energy Office; Dave Harris, Colorado Clean Energy Fund: Ashwin Salvi, AtmosZero

1:50 pm – 2:50 pm

The Electricity Market

Colorado is heading for a more-structured, formal electricity market, with major utilities joining forces to match supply and demand across a broader region. How will this and other, even-more-ambitious initiatives change how electricity is bought and sold in Colorado?

Moderator: Steven Conrad, CSU Systems Engineering

Panelists: Michael Rucker, Scout Energy; Brittany Speetles, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Joseph Taylor, Xcel Energy

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Public-Private Innovation

Government and private-sector companies collaborate on development transfer of new technologies to drive innovation in the clean-tech space. What are some key examples of such partnerships, what are current funding trends, and what technologies hold the most promise for commercialization?

Moderator: Garrett Chappell, Premier Members Credit Union

Panelists: Nick Bettis, Lightning eMotors; Dave Jansen, Solid Power; Ski Milburn, Eberspaecher Vairex; Alex Ruiz, Poudre Valley REA

“Water is emerging as one of the most important and controversial subjects to be addressed in the 21st century. Water issues are particularly complex, and understanding the nuances is critical for good decision-making.”

Water Literate Leaders of Northern Colorado Program

From energy to waste, an increasing number of cities are seeking to achieve aggressive sustainability-related goals. But what does it mean to be “net-zero?”
This event will unpack what it means for cities and counties and the reason behind the movement,
as well as address implications for the private sector and the regional population at large.