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Luncheons

Colorado House Bill 12-1278 study of the South Platte River alluvial aquifer, Tuesday, November 27th, 2012


Speaker: Reagan Waskom, Director, Colorado Water Institute

Colorado House Bill 12-1278 authorized an independent study of the South Platte River alluvial aquifer by the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University to delineate areas within the basin adversely impacted by high groundwater levels and conduct feasibility-level evaluation of the causes of high groundwater levels in affected areas. HB1278 also requires study to evaluate whether the dual goals of preventing injury to vested water rights and maximizing beneficial use of both surface and groundwater are being achieved. A final report of study findings must be submitted to the General Assembly by December 31, 2013. CWI director Reagan Waskom presented an overview of the groundwater situation in the South Platte basin and how the Institute is approaching the study required by the bill.

About the Speaker: 
Reagan Waskom currently serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Institute and as Director of the Colorado State University Water Center, where his responsibility is to address water research and information needs for the State of Colorado. Dr. Waskom is a member of the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences faculty with a joint appointment to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU. In addition, Dr. Waskom supervises the CSU Extension water outreach program and personnel.

The Role of Dynamic Reservoir Operations in Dealing with Climate Change, October 30, 2012

Speaker: Casey Caldwell, Water Resources Engineer, HydroLogics, Inc.

Over the past few decades, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area has been well protected from droughts through use of dynamic operating rules that rely on forecasts of inflow and demand and close coordination between suppliers. This area serves as one of the case studies for a Water Research Foundation project on the role dynamic rules can play in adapting to climate change. This presentation provided an overview of the metropolitan system, the origin of today’s operating rules, and the tools used to generate the climate change traces and simulate their impact on the system. It also discussed the methodology was fine tuned so that the typical bias toward higher flows from the rainfall/runoff models could be reduced in order to better model droughts and their impact on water supply reliability. Results of the model simulations and what adjustments, both to operations and to facilities, would be required to reliably and cost-effectively deal with the uncertainties of climate change, will also be presented. The lessons learned will provide valuable input for any utility contemplating the value of dynamic operating rules and the use of models to derive them, with and without the prospect of climate change.

About the Speaker: 
Casey Caldwell is a water resources engineer with HydroLogics, where his experience in the field includes the development of basin-wide simulation and forecast models, collaborative regional planning efforts, and drought mitigation / water resources management support for water utilities. Casey holds a B.S. from Tufts University and a M.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, both in Environmental Engineering.

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