Feb 192009
Authors: Ashley Robinson

After years of draught have left Colorado’s landscape and residents dry, local leaders in water management will come together this Saturday at Water Tables 2009 to exchange ideas about the future of water conservation, law and conflict.

Water Tables is an annual event hosted by CSU Libraries at which money is raised for the CSU Water Resources Archive and event guests sit down to dinner and discussion relevant to a specific water topic hosted by a Colorado water expert.

“Without the fundraiser there are no archival supplies, student employees, no conference visits,” Morgan Library Head Archivist Patricia Rettig said of the need for money for supplies, employee fees and other outreach activities that seek to expand the archive collection. “So the archive couldn’t remain open and available to the public.”

This year, at the fourth annual Water Tables event, the topic, “Compact Issues and Conflict Resolution,” is meant to encourage 19 local water experts to discuss alternative means for the resolution of water conflicts.

Several CSU professors were invited, including CSU professor of civil and environmental engineering Neil Grigg, who first became interested in water resource management when he studied Colorado’s water rights system in the 1960s.

This is his first year involved with Water Tables and he will be hosting the topic: “Pecos River master asks ‘How will we resolve water conflict in a world with 7 billion people?'”

In the past, Water Tables has piqued the interest of up to 200 people as well as raising $30,000 for the Water Resources Archive last year.

The Water Resources Archive contains documentation of the history of water not only in Colorado but also throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since 2001, when it began, the archive has gained more than 50 collections of water research and data that is now stored in about 1,300 containers.

Rettig said that while they have been working to digitize all of the information in the Archive since it opened – currently over 30,000 pages have been digitized, a small dent in the mountain of water information in the archives – there is so much information left it is difficult to see it all being online in the future.

Water Tables guests will start the evening with a tour of the Water Resources Archive and move into the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom for dinner and presentations.

Staff writer Ashley Robinson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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