2022 Keynote Panel April 20th, 2022

100 years of the Colorado River Compact: Outdated, Miscalculated, Over-allocated

Wednesday, April 20th at 6:00PM Arizona/PDT

Watch the panel discussion recording

Dr. Andrew Curley (Diné), Assistant Professor, University of Arizona School of Geography, Development, and Environment – My research focuses on the everyday incorporation of Indigenous nations into colonial economies. Building on ethnographic research, my publications speak to how Indigenous communities understand coal, energy, land, water, infrastructure, and development in an era of energy transition and climate change. Indigenous nations continue to thrive despite decades of forced removal, land dispossession, and economic underdevelopment. Within Indigenous communities, extractive industries produce a particular kind of colonizing relationship that expands social difference and creates new cultural understandings of resources.

Mike Fiebig, Director of the Southwest Protection Program at American Rivers – Mike works with a diverse set of partners across the Southwest U.S. to ensure the resilience of the last, best free-flowing rivers in the Colorado River and Rio Grande systems. This work takes many forms, including proactive protection of high-value rivers, defending threatened rivers, public lands policy formulation, grassroots advocacy, strategic partnerships, and connecting people to rivers through storytelling and personal engagement.

Kristen Johnson, Arizona Department of Water Resources Manager of the Colorado River Management Section –

Kristen Johnson joined the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) in March 2021 as the Manager of the Colorado River Management Section.  She is responsible for overseeing the technical staff working on the many issues affecting the state’s use of the river and supporting ADWR Director Tom Buschatzke as the Governor’s Representative for Basin States/Colorado River negotiations.  Immediately prior to joining ADWR, Ms. Johnson was the Government Affairs Specialist at Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) in southern California.  Ms. Johnson practiced law with the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor in Washington, D.C. where she counseled the Bureau of Reclamation from 2008-2017.  She spent a substantial amount of time in California and Oregon working on the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, as well as in Reclamation’s Great Plains Region. 

Brian Richter, President of Sustainable Waters and former Director of Global Water Program, Nature Conservancy – Brian Richter has been a global leader in water science and conservation for more than 30 years. He is the president of Sustainable Waters, a global organization focused on water scarcity challenges, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, universities, and local communities. He previously served as Director of the Global Water Program of The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization. Brian has consulted on more than 170 water projects worldwide. He serves as a water advisor to some of the world’s largest corporations, investment banks, and the United Nations, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions. He teaches Water Sustainability at the University of Virginia.