The AEG Southern Nevada Chapter holds dinner meetings eight times per year. Meetings are currently being held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Embassy Suites Las Vegas located at 4315 University Center Drive (Near UNLV between Harmon Avenue and Flamingo Road) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Please note that this is a new venue from previously held Southern Nevada AEG Meetings. Each meeting features a presentation regarding a pertinent geological, environmental, or other relevant science-based issue.
Check-in and Socialize 6:00 to 6:30 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm
Presentation: 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Vegetarian options are available. Just let us know when you
Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, only fully-vaccinated
people are allowed to attend the meeting.
October 12, 2021 - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. PDT
"Devastating Drought in the West - Adapting Water Infrastructure and Water Rights to the New Climate Realities of the Western United States"
BY: Eric Kuhn, former General Manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District
In the last two decades, rivers in the Western United States have seen unprecedented low flows resulting in shortages, conflicts among water rights holders, and environmental disputes. The Colorado River system has received the most press attention, but it is not alone. The water supply situations in the Rio Grande, Sacramento- San Joaquin, Klamath, and other river systems such as the Truckee River are similar to those in the Colorado. In many western river basins, the demand for water exceeds the available supply. These impacted river systems have many common problems: Water use is dominated by large and mostly federal water supply projects. The available water supply was overallocated from the beginning. The projects were planned based on the concept that future river flows would look like the past (stationarity). Now, anthropogenic climate change is adding deep uncertainty to the mix. Adapting water supply projects and water allocation/water rights systems to non-stationary river systems will require new management and governance approaches and a larger role for science.
Eric Kuhn is the former General Manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District and co-author with John Fleck of Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River, University of Arizona Press, 2019.
The Colorado River District is the largest and oldest of Colorado’s four conservation districts. It covers most of the Colorado River Basin within Colorado. Almost two thirds of the flow at Lee Ferry originates in or flows through the district. Eric started employment with the Colorado River District in 1981 as Assistant Secretary-Engineer. In 1996 he was appointed General Manager, a position he held until his retirement in 2018.
From 1994 through 2001, he served on the Colorado Water Conservation Board representing the Colorado River mainstem. In 2005, Eric was appointed by Governor Owens as an at-large representative on the Colorado Inter-basin Compact Committee, a position he held until 2018. He served on the Engineering Advisory Committee of the Upper Colorado River Compact Commission from 1982 -2020.
Prior to working for the Colorado River District, he served as an engineer officer aboard nuclear submarines in the U.S. Navy and worked as a nuclear start-up engineer for Bechtel Power Corp. Eric has a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree from Pepperdine University.
Eric and John’s book, Science Be Dammed, is about Colorado River hydrology, what we knew, when we knew it, and how we used it to shape the over-allocation of the river under the 1922 compact, the other major provisions of the law-of-the-river, and the projects we have in place today.
Thank you to this month's sponsors!
Click on the logos to learn more about our Sponsors.