2016 tour to Colorado’s South Platte basin June 14-16

The annual water and natural resources tour, hosted by the University of Nebraska’s Nebraska Water Center (NWC) and The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID), will visit Colorado this summer.

The June 14-16 tour will travel through Colorado's central Front Range area and into the interior of the Rocky Mountains. Attention in the Denver area will center on growing urban water demands stemming from rapidly expanding population, industry and recreation. 

Diverse stops and topics in the Denver area include water quality and the Coors brewery, climate change, changes in water runoff patterns caused by recent pine wilt beetle infestations, the role of the Denver Water utility and other topics.

The tour will examine many issues related to water and natural resources in the South Platte basin and Denver metro area.

“Basin water use and development in Denver and the surrounding metropolitan area, including ongoing conversion of former agricultural water rights to urban and suburban use as the area continues to grow are obviously huge considerations and will be closely examined on tour from a number of angles,” said NWC communicator Steve Ress, a tour co-organizer.

In the high country of nearby Summit County, recreation and tourism drive the area’s economy, and water use, and those issues will be closely explored as tour participants get a look at research and restoration projects aimed at preserving abundant water supplies and a healthy environment. 

 Tour participants will see the snow-making industry, spend part of an afternoon rafting Clear Creek and will be exposed to the history, ramifications and continuing environmental issues associated with the area’s 19th Century gold and silver mining industry that helped open much of Central Colorado to western settlement. 

Colorado’s first state water plan, shared use of water under a Nebraska-Colorado compact and many other topics will also be examined.

Registrations can be made through  CNPPID in Holdrege.  The tour departs from the Holiday Inn Express and Suites DIA Hotel in Denver at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 14. Tour participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the event. All other food, lodging, motor coach expenses and fees are covered in the tour registration.

In addition to CNPPID and the NWC, tour sponsors include the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nebraska Public Power District, the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District, Li-COR Biosciences and the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance.

Registration is $665 per person single occupancy or $565 per person double occupancy. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-served. To register, email hrahmann@cnppid.com or phone (308) 995-3560.

Information is online at watercenter.unl.edu and cnppid.com and at  facebook.com/NebraskaWaterCenter.

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Steven W. Ress, communications coordinator, Nebraska Water Center, part of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, (402) 472-3305, sress@nebraska.edu