Colorado State University System has selected CDR Associates as the lead consultant to conduct strategic planning for a water policy institute at the future Spur campus at the National Western Center in north Denver.
“The Spur campus is a place made for the public, and a place to convene the greatest minds around the biggest issues of our time,” said CSU System Executive Vice Chancellor Amy Parsons. “Water is a critical issue that requires interdisciplinary expertise and collaboration, and the water policy institute is positioned to begin this work prior to the grand opening of the CSU Spur campus in 2022.”
Housed within the water building — one of three buildings on the Spur campus — this policy institute will be a CSU-led, non-partisan policy center that addresses core natural resources, regulatory and governance, and socioeconomic issues shaping sustainability of the West’s water future through research-based policy analysis, alternatives, and recommendations.
The CDR team is comprised of three Colorado-based organizations: CDR Associates, which provides stakeholder engagement and leads the decision-making process; ICS Consulting, which provides innovative solutions to complex water problems; and LRE Water, which provides engineering services for resolving water resources challenges.
“Developing a water policy institute is a meaningful and rare opportunity to shape how future water is managed, in a way that really meets the needs of these future policy-implementers,” said Emily Zmak, a CDR Associates process expert on the project.
Scott Campbell, principal and owner of ICS Consulting, agreed: “We need a place like WWPI to chart a viable future for the American West.”
At Spur, the water building will host programs focused on education, innovation, and research — advancing innovative practices in water; providing a venue for water-focused dialogue and conferences that highlight connections between water and urban and rural food systems; connecting water users with problem-solvers; showcasing water sustainability; and fostering cross-sector collaboration. The facility will be a venue for K-12 education and field trips. Denver Water’s water quality laboratory will also be part of the water center.