The Western Water Crisis & What it Means for Agriculture
We all know the importance of water to raising American food and growing American fiber. What happens when one of our most critical inputs is compromised across sectors and geographies? Throughout the American West, water storage is falling to unprecedented lows. Join us for a discussion about the water challenges agriculture faces as well as the opportunities presented by the current water crisis. You will be briefed on the current situation by water expert, James Eklund, whose family has ranched for five generations in the Colorado River Basin. James will then lead a discussion about the next steps for American agriculture in light of climate-influenced aridification.
Time and Date:
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 (EST)
11:00 – 12:00 (CST)
James Eklund, Co-Founder & CEO, Eklund Hanlon, LLC
James is co-founder and CEO of Eklund Hanlon, LLC, a water law and policy firm. As Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, James was the architect of Colorado’s first strategic water plan and is regularly consulted in implementing what has become the “gold standard” of water plans in the Western US. During his tenure as director, he quickly built a reputation as a leader in negotiation and diplomacy – bringing together multiple stakeholders with opposing goals in order to collaboratively craft actionable solutions to common problems.
James also served as Colorado’s Colorado River Commissioner. He had the honor of negotiating and signing the first management plan for the Colorado River that recognizes climate change and will be the foundation for all future management decisions on a river that serves 40 million people, seven of the United States, and the Republic of Mexico. In near-record time, he successfully helped craft and shepherd critical Colorado River legislation through the US Congress and testified in the House of Representatives in support of the bill that was ultimately signed into law.
Recently, while at the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, James led the global water and climate change practices. He also previously served as legal counsel to the Governor of the state of Colorado and an Assistant Attorney General for Colorado specializing in interstate and international water issues.
James also currently teaches graduate environmental classes at the University of Denver and is a frequent presenter on water and climate change issues. He is a fifth-generation Coloradan from his family’s ranch (homesteaded on the Western Slope in 1888) now raising his own family (1 daughter, 2 sons) on Colorado’s Front Range with a spouse who is a public school teacher who tolerates his water sermons (he thinks). His favorite Colorado River endangered species is the Razorback Sucker (he thinks of himself as sharp but also gullible at times).
Research & Materials: