VIDEO: Session 2: Is This Our Destination?, Panel D: Rethinking the Current Path

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Martz Summer Conference (3rd: 2011: Boulder, Colo.)



3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

SESSION 2: Is This Our Destination?

Panel D: Rethinking the Current Path

Moderator: Sarah Bates, Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, University of Montana


Sarah Bates, Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, University of Montana; Leaders’ Perspectives: What’s Coming?

Doug Kenney, Director, Western Water Policy Program of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School; How Does Climate Change Impact the Need for, and Direction of, Institutional Reform?

Lynn Scarlett, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Visiting Scholar at Resources for the Future; New Models for River Management

Commentator: John Fleck, Western water journalist, Staff Writer, Albuquerque Journal


Sarah Bates

Streaming Media


Competition for scarce Colorado River water resources is nothing new, but the conflicts that prompted the seven basin states to negotiate the 1922 Colorado River Compact have grown considerably fiercer and more complex in recent decades. In 2007, responding to the challenges of increasing demand and sustained drought, the seven basin states and a number of other affected interests agreed to a set of interim guidelines for allocating Colorado River water in the event of shortages. This agreement represents an important evolution in the governance of the Colorado River, suggesting that the many interests in the basin can work together to address shared risks, concerns, and needs. Yet, an increasing number of experts predict that this agreement alone will not be sufficient to address the many challenges ahead.

This conference examined current laws and policies governing Colorado River management, highlighted new developments and studies that will inform future decisions, and explored a broad range of options for addressing the identified challenges and opportunities. This forward-looking conference focused on one broad question: What future do we envision for the Colorado River, and what will it take to get there?