The Colorado Scientific Society in collaboration with the Center of the American West, is planning a one day symposium focused on the science and cultural issues at the interface between water and energy in Colorado. This symposium will bring together representatives from water providers and the energy industry to highlight these issues for our community. We envision a one-day session with 8-10 speakers coordinated by an experienced moderator. The emphasis will be on the science framing these topics. The symposium’s goals include highlighting the cultural context of these discussions and identifying common ground and collaborative opportunities.

Colorado lies at the intersection of water and energy. Water is critical to the oil and gas extractive industry through produced water, hydraulic fracking water, and waste water injection. Water is critical to energy in terms of hydro-electricity generation as at the Shoshone power plant on the Colorado River (one of the oldest water rights in the state) and with energy generated by dropping trans-basin water onto the eastern plains. In addition there are battery systems provided by pumped storage in mountain lakes above Georgetown and Twin Lakes. Water as a coolant is vital for thermo-electric generation plants (coal, gas, nuclear). Energy sources in Colorado are evolving as providers seek cost-effective ways to minimize the impacts of power generation on our water and on our environment.

We face limited and perhaps dwindling water supplies in Colorado, at the same time we strive to produce more energy in an environmentally sensitive manner. These challenges are engineering problems that interface with social and communication components. Our science skills can frame technical solutions for water such as aquifer storage and recovery, enhanced recycling and more efficient re-use. Our energy generation can draw on innovative technologies to provide economically optimized blends of environmentally sensitive generating technologies. Together, enhanced science-based operating practices will make a better Colorado for all of us.

Registration information and more details coming soon!