Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Summer Conference (24th: 2003: Boulder, Colo.)


Presenter: David H. Getches, Raphael J. Moses Professor of Natural Resources Law, University of Colorado School of Law

16 slides


The swollen creeks of Boulder, Colorado provided a fitting backdrop for the “Water, Climate and Uncertainty” conference at the Natural Resources Law Center of the University of Colorado in June 2003. Recognizing the importance of providing a forum for discussions between water managers, lawyers, policy makers, and scientists, Doug Kenney, the conference's organizer, assumed the responsibility of master of ceremonies, providing thoughtful transitions between speakers and sessions while throwing some humor into the mix. Under his direction, luminaries in the fields of science, law and policy engaged a wide range of issues related to the future of water management.

The twenty-fourth annual conference was divided into five sessions. Session One was given the thought-provoking title “The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be,” echoing the words of the inimitable Yogi Berra; the wisdom of the baseball legend with a penchant for paradox was repeatedly invoked during the conference. This first session was further divided into two parts: Western Climate History and Western Climate Future. Session Two, entitled “Science, Policy, Law and Extra-Strength Tylenol,” considered current and future applications of science in policy and law, as well as the headaches attending these applications. The simple title of Session Three, “Basins and Borders,” belied the complexity of issues facing communities from the municipal level up to the international level. The Keynote Lecture that served as an intermission was delivered by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, Bennett Raley. Session Four, “Additional Perspectives,” aimed at identifying oft’ overlooked voices and issues with respect to water management decisions. Finally, the ambitiously named Fifth Session, “Tying It All Together,” promised as much as it delivered. – Steve Bailey, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

See also Mark Shea, Conference Reports: Water Climate and Uncertainty: Implications for Western Water, Law, Policy, and Management, 7 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 226 (2003).