Our Society Reimagined is a four-week series that provides an opportunity to explore the domestic issues that have shaped our modern society, as well as a chance to gain perspective on the underlying values and ideas that we hold as individuals and as a society, and how these tenets shape our lives.
The 2022 series will take place in person on our Aspen Meadows campus from 6:00-8:00 pm MT on four consecutive Wednesdays, October 19-November 9.
Tom Morrison and Clint Kinney will return to moderate the series.
Fee: $180, includes all sessions, refreshments, and reading materials. Scholarships available. Register here.
Wednesday, October 19
Water in the West: The Changing Colorado River Basin
The unprecedented drought in the Colorado River Basin is rapidly forcing unpalatable changes in the allocation of water to 40 million Americans. The 100-year-old agreements allocating Colorado River waters have lost their relevance and new political compromises are inevitable. There will be winners and losers. How do we determine the tradeoffs between lower basin states that have already developed urban centers, and upper basin states that want to claim the historically established but still undeveloped share of water? Urban centers are directly challenging agricultural use of water and even individual crops are being targeted as losers. Environmental protection is in direct conflict with society’s need for water. Tribal water rights further complicate the issue. Answering these questions will require a level of cross-jurisdictional coordination and legislating that is difficult to imagine in our divisive political environment. However, the news is not all bad. What can we learn from jurisdictions that have stepped up efforts to greatly reduce their water consumption in both urban and agricultural settings? Will these improvements be enough to allow the West to continue its development and broad agricultural use?