NRJ-Utton Center Rio Grande Reservoir Symposium
The Utton Center and the Natural Resources Journal at the University of New Mexico School of Law sponsored a symposium on April 22, 2006 to discuss the reservoirs on the Rio Grande. The purpose of the symposium was to raise the level of understanding of water managers, attorneys, and other professionals on the issues associated with legal authorizations for reservoirs, historic issues, and the constraints and opportunities that may exist for optimizing management of the reservoirs.
There were close to 100 participants at the symposium. See the list of attendees and some of the photos taken during the event below.
Breakout groups at the end of the day were intended to provide a chance for the participants to share ideas on a potential process for exploring how to optimize the use of the reservoirs, including looking beyond existing legal authorities: who could lead it, who should participate, what tools might be used, and what would the steps be? The discussion ranged widely among the groups. The notes are posted below.
Many ideas were expressed, during the symposium and afterwards. Although everyone seems to agree there are things that should be looked at to improve flexibility of the reservoirs, there is no clear direction on what this process should be. It is very difficult to work on this as a region, as a state, and between states and Pueblos and many people encouraged the Utton Center to continue to work on the reservoir issues.
The Natural Resources Journal published an edition (Summer 2007, Volume 47, No. 3) devoted to the laws and policies of the Rio Grande reservoirs in New Mexico. This volume includes several articles that were presented at the Symposium, as well as an update of the History of the Rio Grande Reservoirs.
On behalf of the Utton Center, Professor Em Hall and the NRJ staff and students, we appreciate everyone who participated in the Symposium.
Several of the speakers' Power Points are below:
- Overview of Reservoir Operations and Water Management in New Mexico - Kevin G. Flanigan, NM Interstate Stream Commission ( PDF )
- An Environmental Perspective on Rio Grande Reservoirs - Kara Gillon, Staff Attorney, Defenders of Wildlife ( PDF )
- Federal Perspective - Upper Rio Grande Operations Model and URGWOPS Update - April Sanders, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ( PDF )
- Texas Perspective - Rio Grande Reservoirs Legal Framework and Operations - Herman Settemeyer, Texas Engineer Advisor, Rio Grande Compact Commission ( PDF )
- Municipal Plans and Issues - Abiquiu Reservoir - Present and Future - Andrew Lieuwen, Water Rights Manager, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority ( PDF )
- Interactive Modeling to Support Regional Water Planning: A Case Study on the Rio Grande - Vince Tidwell, Sandia National Labs ( Power Point )
- Historic El Vado Reservoir Operations- Viola Sanchez, Ph.D. Student, Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico PDF )