Managing Water in the Upper Green River Nov. 14 &15
Stroock Forum in Pinedale
by University of Wyoming
November 13, 2008
A major conference, the Stroock Forum at the University of Wyoming, will focus on managing water in the Upper Green River in Pinedale.
The 2008 Stroock Forum, "Water Management on the Upper Green River," will be at the Rendezvous Pointe Senior Center, located at 425 E. Magnolia in Pinedale, from 1-5 p.m. Friday Nov. 14, and from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. The event is free and open to the public.
To register for the conference, visit the Web site at www.uwyo.edu/stroockforum or call the office of the Stroock Professor at (307) 766-2571.
The conference will feature experts discussing topics ranging from climate change to groundwater quality to thirsty downstream states, and how these topics affect the Upper Green River basin and the people who live there.
The UW conference is sponsored by UW's Stroock Forum on Wyoming Lands and People, founded by Tom Stroock of Casper. He is a former Wyoming legislative leader and former ambassador to Guatemala under President George Herbert Walker Bush.
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal will give an introductory talk on the enduring significance of watershed management issues in the basin. The public will have an opportunity to discuss management options with each other and with the conference's experts.
Wyoming's state climatologist, state geologist and state engineer will be among the speakers addressing issues such as climate change, energy development, water rights and water values.
Steve Gray, the state climatologist, will discuss climate change and its potential impacts on water management. Ron Surdam, state geologist, will discuss the continued pressures of energy development area residents can expect and then the quantity and quality of groundwater in the area. KJ Reddy, UW School of Energy Resources associate director for academics, will present specific problems of energy development and groundwater.
He will be followed by a discussion of changes in the glaciers feeding the surface water supply of the Green River, featuring Charles Love, Western Wyoming Community College geology professor.
Mike Purcell, Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) director, closes the first day session presenting issues that surround new water storage.
Wyoming State Engineer Pat Tyrrell opens the Saturday session talking about Colorado River challenges that affect the Green River Basin. An economist who has studied the values of water as it is now managed on the Upper Green River, Ernie Niemi of ECONorthwest in Oregon, will then discuss his research work and the issues raised by those findings.
Two panels will close the event. One panel will discuss the needs and pressures experienced by a variety of Green River users, and the other on-ground water management initiatives and its potential.
Another Pinedale event, scheduled in coordination with the conference, will let residents review and give their opinions on studies the WWDC has done on a variety of water storage possibilities in the Green River Basin.
The WWDC will host an open house at 5 p.m., also at Rendezvous Pointe, Friday, Nov. 14, for the public to learn about studies the commission has funded regarding potential dam and storage sites in the Green River Basin.
The water development studies reviewed at the agency open house will include a look at not only a proposal for a dam on the main stem of the Green River near the Warren Bridge (which drew considerable public attention last winter), but also a number of other proposals for smaller storage facilities located along tributaries.
The WWDC will host similar open houses with introductory talks at other locations in the Green River Basin earlier in the week. Meetings are scheduled at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12; and at Kemmerer's public library, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13.