CMU course to explore water issues

A three-part course planned for Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction will focus on water resources and offer information about climate, laws and planning for drought.

The Hutchins Water Center at CMU has scheduled the course for 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25 and March 3 in the Meyer Ballroom of the University Center.

Admission is $45 for the whole series or $20 for individual sessions. Discounts are offered to financial contributors to the Hutchins Water Center. The series is free for CMU students, faculty and staff.

For more information, call 248-1928 or visit the Web site at

Continuing education credits are available for real estate agents participating in the course. Applications are pending to provide continuing education credits for attorneys and water system operators.

The Feb. 18 session will focus on the hydrology and climate of the region. Gigi Richard, a CMU geology professor and director of the Hutchins Water Center, will discuss hydrology. Joe Ramey, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, will discuss climate and weather. Taryn Finnessey, a climate change and risk management specialist for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, will present the conclusions of recently completed statewide climate and water plans.

The Feb. 25 session will focus on water law and history. Mark Hermundstad, an attorney with the Grand Junction law firm Williams, Turner and Holmes, will discuss water rights and legal issues affecting water management in the Grand Valley. Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., a retired Colorado Supreme Court justice, will discuss Colorado water law and history.

The March 3 session will focus on planning for resilience at home and on farms. Joe Burtard, external affairs manager for Ute Water Conservancy District, will talk about measures Grand Valley drinking water providers have taken to make their systems resilient to drought and other risks. Susan Carter, a horticultural agent with the Colorado State University Extension, will present ways to make home landscaping more drought resistant. Perry Cabot, a regional water specialist with the Colorado Water Institute, will discuss strategies for making agriculture more resilient.