2015 16th Water Assembly Conference

Water Assembly 2015 Conference:

"Climate Disruption and Our Water Future
 Mitigate, Adapt or Suffer - A Call for New Strategies"

9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015
UNM Dane Smith Hall, Room 125       
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Op-Ed Article    

Speakers include:   Link to Biographies

o   Melinda Harm Benson
o   Tom Blaine, State Engineer
o   John Brown
o   Kim Eichhorst
o   David Gutzler
o   Michael Jensen
o   Phil King
o   Howard Passell
o   Susan Rich
o   Bruce Thomson
o   Bob Wessely


We are experiencing increasingly frequent extreme weather events.  As has been said in many other venues, we have a choice -- to mitigate, adapt or suffer!

While there is a Regional Water Plan for the three county-area (Sandoval, Bernalillo and Valencia), it is ten years old.  This event is one of our opportunities to review the Plan and determine what changes need to be made so as to ease our way into a changing climate.  

The Sixteenth Water Assembly will explore, with speakers and extensive audience participation, how we might deal with four or five of the different climate consequences we are facing and will most likely continue to face.  

The resulting approaches will be carried forward beyond the Assembly to inform and augment the ongoing update to the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) Regional Water Plan (RWP), as well as to inform the state agencies and other regions within the state that are updating their respective water plans.  

The consequences we will discuss at the Assembly are:  

o   Watershed Degradation
o   Intense Precipitation Events and Flooding
o   Protracted Drought / Surface Water Shortages
o   Decline of Groundwater and Underground Water Flows
o   Ecosystem Degradation and Climate Migration 

For each of these consequences, we want attendees to identify and discuss some actions that can deal with the particular consequence, and also to identify possible impacts or negative consequences of those actions.  


8:30   Continental Breakfast
Link to introductory slides

Link to contents slides

The Changed Climate Has Consequences

9:00    Welcome - Introduction to the Water Assembly
Bob Wessely       
9:10        Water Plan History   
Bob Wessely
Link to slides (2.94 MB)

9:20   Technical Supply and Demand Situation
Bruce Thomson
Link to slides (0.56 MB)

9:30     Water supply long-term forecast
David Gutzler
 Link to slides (0.53 MB)

9:40        New Mexico’s Governance of Water
John R. Brown
Link to slides (0.77 MB)

9:55A Framework of Resilience
Melinda Harm Benson
Link to slides (1.04 MB)

10:10    Audience Questions and Comments
Link to discussion notes (0.17 MB)

10:20  Break

10:35 Setting the Stage - Questions for Each Consequence
Howard Passell, facilitator

Watershed and Storm Consequences

10:45 First Consequence – Watershed Degradation

Susan Rich
Link to slides (5.88 MB)

11:00 Facilitated Audience Discussion

Link to discussion notes (0.19 MB)

11:20 Second Consequence - Intense Precipitation Events and Flooding

Michael Jensen
Link to slides (3.49 MB)

11:35 Facilitated Audience Discussion

Link to discussion notes (0.18 MB)
11:55 Explanation of Advocacy Group Elections

Elaine Hebard
Link to slides (0.19 MB)

12:00 Advocacy Groups’ Working Lunch

Drought, Groundwater and Ecosystem Consequences

1:00 Third Consequence - Protracted Drought / Surface Water Shortages

Phil King
1:15     Fourth Consequence - Decline of Groundwater & Underground Flows

Phil King
Link to slides (3.44 MB)

1:30     Facilitated Audience Discussion
 Link to discussion notes (0.20 MB)

2:10 Fifth Consequence - Ecosystem Degradation and Climate Migration

Kim Eichhorst
Link to slides (17.26 MB)

2:25     Facilitated Audience Discussion

Link to discussion notes (0.17 MB)

Link to flip chart notes (0.17 MB)

Discussion of Next Steps

2:45     How Will Today’s Suggestions Feed into the RWP Update?
Tom Blaine, State Engineer

2:55     Final Words
Bob Wessely
Link to slides (0.21 MB)

3:00     Adjourn Water Assembly Conference

3:05      NewBoard of Directors Meeting

     3:10    Adjourn Board of Directors Meeting



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