Banner for Colorado River VIP Tour

What an amazing experience! The 2018 Tour took place November 15-16 and traveled upstream from Austin to San Angelo and back, stopping at key locations to explore land-use best practices, issues in water quantity and quality, the impacts of growing populations, the dams and reservoirs of the Colorado River, emerging technologies to curtail water waste, and more. Attendees heard from experts and engaged in respectful, meaningful conversations about natural resource stewardship, water issues, and the future of the Texas Colorado River. Attendees on this two-day bus tour included representatives of regional elected leaders, water-planning experts, diverse water users and managers, community stakeholders, and more.

Click here to view photos from the 2018 Tour, courtesy of Al Braden.

Why this program matters

The Texas Colorado River is the lifeblood of millions of people and their communities, providing not just drinking water but also water for agriculture, manufacturing, power generation, and more. Its natural beauty and recreation opportunities have helped make the communities in its basin some of the fastest-growing areas in the country. The population of the river’s basin (the land area that drains to the river, also known as the watershed, which includes almost 40,000 square miles) will double again by 2040. The demands on the river — a water supply that is already dwindling over time due to increasingly frequent droughts — will rise steeply.

At the Colorado River Alliance, our mission is to champion the river’s long-term vitality through education and engagement, and we recognize that our state’s long-term survival depends on a deeper understanding and research-based stewardship of the Texas Colorado River. The Colorado River VIP Tour educates leaders about the complex issues of water use, supply and demand, and the connections between land and water. As a result, this program prepares leaders to participate meaningfully in their communities’ decisions about water resources, conservation, and river stewardship. Said one participant, “I had no idea what I didn’t know. This tour was incredibly eye-opening.”

2018 Advisory Group

The Colorado River Alliance, in partnership with the Texas Water Foundation, has recruited the following Advisers to guide decisions about the 2018 VIP Tour’s stops, speakers, and invitees: Carole Baker (Texas Water Foundation), Lisa Benton (LCRA and TCEQ Clean Rivers Program), Blair Fitzsimons (Texas Agricultural Land Trust), Karen Ford (WaterPR), Tom Mason (retired, formerly LCRA General Manager), Carlos Rubinstein (RSAH2O), Emily Warren (Meadows Center for Water and the Environment), and Christy Youker (Texas Disposal Systems).