As a recognized expert on the Colorado River, Jack Schmidt will speak about Utah and the Wasatch Front’s place in the Colorado River system. Utah brings a rich and diverse utilitarian, environmental and recreation history to the river. Although primarily confined in deep canyons in the eastern region of the state, the Green and Colorado Rivers are important water sources for agriculture and for cities, as hydroelectricity generated at Glen Canyon and Flaming Gorge Dam is distributed throughout the state. These same rivers are the focus of white water rafting tourism and are critical habitat for endangered endemic fish species.
The future of these rivers is thus linked and strongly affected by reduced stream flow caused by a warming climate, and increased human demands within and outside of Utah. Given this connection, what role and responsibility does Utah have in decisions affecting the health and course of the Colorado River?