One of my first experiences with the water community was during the 2016 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum held in Salida. That year I attended as an interested citizen with an eagerness to learn. This past week, I had the privilege of attending as an employee of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District and a member of the Forum planning committee. A lot can happen in 3 years. Or, how about 25!
We recently wrapped up this year’s Forum, the 25th anniversary held in Pueblo. If you were fortunate enough to attend, you may recall a presentation by Division 2 Engineer Bill Tyner, where he posed a series of questions to test our water knowledge. Maybe you’ve been around awhile and showed up as a water buffalo with a vast amount of knowledge to share. Or, maybe like me, you still need your floaties to help prevent you from sinking. No matter where you find yourself on the water spectrum, I hope you walked away from this year’s Forum having learned something new.
During Wednesday’s luncheon we had the privilege of hearing from two members of the water community, Mr. Jim Valliant representing those that have led us through the past 25 years and Mr. Silas Malers, a young man just getting his feet wet in the water world. While Mr. Valliant offered us a look back and reminded us of the challenges and conflicts that have marked the past 25 years, Silas demonstrated what can be achieved with hard work, dedication, and the support of those around us. And while I was certainly impressed by the watershed model made by Silas and the historical perspective offered by Jim, what impacted me most was the humility expressed by both of these gentlemen on different ends of the age spectrum. Both of them remarked that there is still much to learn and that working together is the key to accomplishing great things.
In my opinion, that’s what the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum is all about - bringing people together to learn, to broaden our understanding and perspective through open dialogue, to reflect on the past, and to look towards the future, together.
Speaking of the future - we’ll see you next year in Salida!
ARBWF Planning Committee Member
Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District
News and updates from the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum.
The Arkansas River Basin Water Forum is a 501 (c)3 non-profit that serves as a conduit for information about the Arkansas River Basin in Colorado, and for issues related to water allocation and management. Through our annual Forums, a wider understanding of water issues has evolved and along with it the opportunity to find common ground.