Laurna Kaatz

Laurna Kaatz is the climate science, policy, and adaptation program director for Denver Water. Her primary responsibility is to lead climate investigations and implement findings to inform planning, policy, and research. Laurna’s work incorporates many areas of water resource planning, including climate and drought planning, operational and water rights analysis, and long-range integrated resource planning. As incoming Chair of the Water Utility Climate Alliance, lead practitioner of the Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty Society, and Past President of AWRA CO Section, Laurna is extensively engaged in climate preparedness and resilience. Before her career at Denver Water, Laurna was a Professor of Physics at Sweet Briar College, and then went on to work as a climate science researcher with Aurora Water. Laurna has a master’s degree in physics and a Bachelor’s in physics and mathematics, and is currently working on her PhD.


Title: Providing Drinking water to Colorado – Water in the west is a complex and convoluted issue. Wise and thoughtful planning is needed to balance the various needs of users and to ensure a secure water future. Meeting future water needs must be done in a manner that considers all solutions and fosters resilient thinking and investments. In this presentation, you will hear about the challenges of providing drinking water in a rapidly growing semiarid region and how Denver Water, the largest and oldest water utility in the State of Colorado, is preparing to provide safe, high quality, and reliable drinking water continuously into the future.