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Colorado WaterWise Water Conservation Symposium

2024 Event Information

The Water Conservation Symposium is Colorado WaterWise’s flagship event, bringing together more than 150 water professionals throughout the state for a day immersed in water conservation, sustainability, and innovation. Hear from water experts representing all sectors while we explore the latest water efficiency initiatives through policy, incentives, strategy, and community engagement.

This day-long event is an opportunity for attendees to share ideas and network while enjoying presentations that explore case studies on how we may collaboratively best manage our water resources now and well into the future.

Student Scholarship Application

Thanks to our generous event sponsors, a limited number of student scholarships are available for this year’s Annual Symposium. A scholarship covers registration costs to attend the 2024 event. To be eligible, you must currently be enrolled in an accredited college or university. Priority will be given to those with a financial need presented. 

Applications are due by Friday, July 26. Applicants will be notified at least two weeks before the event. 

Session Information

We are thrilled to offer breakout sessions this year. Attend the presentation that appeals most to you! There is something for everyone with topics ranging from exploring effective water conservation strategies for indoor use, outdoor use, small communities, agriculture, CII customers, and everything in-between.

Click the session titles below to read a description of each topic.
Analysis of Urban Outdoor Use Trends, Conservation, and Rainwater Harvesting Potential in Colorado

Presented by Nicholas Guthro (UC Colorado at Boulder) and Jorge Santiago Ramirez Nunez (UC Colorado at Boulder)

All the future scenarios projected in the 2023 Colorado Water Plan estimate significant gaps between supply and demand, and municipal supply gaps are identified as a major challenge and risk. Residential use is the largest component of water use in urban areas, with outdoor water use representing a significant portion of a household’s water use. This presentation explores the effectiveness of water conservation policies in Colorado and the effect of climate, population, and water rates. This will help stakeholders in the urban planning process build on the 2023 Colorado Water Plan objective for a more water-resilient Colorado.

Colorado WaterWise's New Guidebook of Best Practices for Municipal Water Conservation in Colorado

Presented by Peter Mayer (WaterDM), Abbye Neel (Brendle Group), Courtney Black (Intera)

Colorado WaterWise just completed an update to its Guidebook of Best Practices for Municipal Water Conservation. The project included extensive stakeholder outreach. This session will introduce the new guidebook and resources.

Landscaping for Tomorrow, Today

Facilitated by Lisa Pace (Colorado Springs Utilities) with panelists

Urban landscapes as we know it are changing. To create the vibrant communities of our future, installing more resilient landscapes must start today. Learn from program participants about how various landscape water conservation programs are working towards more resilient, urban landscapes that offer a high quality of life.

Unlocking Water Savings: Strategies and Challenges in Large-Scale Landscape Transformation

Facilitated by Liesel Hans (Alliance for Water Efficiency) with panelists

Non-Functional turf is the hot topic across the Colorado River Basin. The Alliance for Water Efficiency partnered with 27 utilities across 7 states to explores water-saving opportunities and challenges in largescale landscape transformations and irrigation optimization strategies. This project focused on program effectiveness, stakeholder involvement, and how multiple benefits are being considered along with water savings. The project’s aim is to inform program design and policy development. Get a sneak peek of project results, hear from organizations tackling this topic in Colorado, and chime in with your own insights.

Engaging Underserved Populations in Program Development

Presented by Rita Jokerst, Margarita Padilla (City of Greeley)

Greeley Water Conservation is expanding its services to meet customers’ needs more equitably. After identifying typically underserved populations, the team developed targeted strategies to engage them in conservation program development. This presentation provides an overview of methods used, highlights key themes from the feedback collected, and outlines the next steps the Greeley team will take to implement the community's suggestions.

Mobilizing after Water Efficiency Plan Adoption

Presented by Abbye Neel (Brendle Group), Nathan Alburn (City of Loveland)

The City of Loveland adopted its newest Water Efficiency Plan in 2020. The City lacks dedicated water conservation staff, and with ambitious water savings goals and over 30 strategies, implementing the City’s Water Efficiency Plan is no easy task. This session reviews the City’s lessons learned and best practices to implementing what is included in the plan.

Sponsor Lightning Round

Prepare to be inspired as our sponsors share their passion and expertise, offering a glimpse into the future of water innovation. Don't miss out on this unparalleled opportunity to connect with industry leaders, learn about the latest trends and developments, and explore the multitude of opportunities available through our sponsors.

Paving the Way on the Western Slope: Community-Centric Conservation

Facilitated by Melissa Wills (Colorado River District) with panelists Kevin Reidy (CWCB), Julie Baxter (City of Steamboat), Rachel Zerowin (High County Conservation Center), Laura Bohannon (Eagle County Conservation District), Randi Kim (City of Grand Junction)

This panel will provide remarkable examples and discussion around the hard work being done on the West Slope of Colorado by water providers and dedicated nonprofits to make strides in water conservation. The Western Slope of Colorado poses unique obstacles for water providers, thus encouraging leaders to think out of the box when helping their communities adapt to a hotter and drier climate.

Exploring Indoor Efficiency Programs for CII

Presented by Sam Schreier (Colorado Springs Utilities)
For Colorado Springs Utilities, commercial, industrial and military customers make up 37% of total water sales and where more than 35% of our annual savings are targeted through 2030. To meet this goal, new programs are needed. This session explorations our findings related to cooling towers, car washes and new efficiency technologies such as Boss Defrost.

Leveraging AMI data for Golden’s Waste of Water Ordinance and Potential Drought Restrictions

Presented by Katie Duke (City of Golden)

In 2023, Golden City Council authorized a Waste of Water Ordinance that defines allowable and prohibited water uses to use water more efficiently. This ordinance limits outdoor irrigation to no more than three days a week and only during certain hours. Given limited staff resources, Golden is leveraging AMI technology, along with a customer facing portal, to observe watering patterns across the city. Residents have access to the same software as city staff, which is marketed as a transparency and support service to residents.

Innovations and Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture in the Colorado Basin

Presented by Perry Cabot (Colorado State University)

Colorado State University's Irrigation and Water Resources program addresses water scarcity in agriculture through innovative projects on irrigation technologies, crop water use, and alternative crops. It aims to enhance irrigation efficiency with LoRaWAN, UAVs, and AI, while studying alternative forages and pulse crops for sustainable water management in Western Colorado.

Gardener Water Conservation Award

Each year we present the Gardener Water Conservation Award to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to water conservation in Colorado and exemplifies Colorado WaterWise’s mission. 

Know someone or an organization that deserves this award? Please consider nominating them. Nominations are due July 11.

Interested in sponsoring the event?

Select a sponsorship level below and email us to confirm!

Photos from our past Symposiums

"great speakers, great networking, great people!"

Colorado WaterWise                                  

PO Box 101012

Denver, CO 80250

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