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On Friday, March 1 the Poudre River Forum, “The Cost of Water,” wrapped up at Aims Community College Welcome Center in Greeley. There was over 220 people in attendance.

“I found the varying views most impactful,” said one attendee. “It was obvious that not everyone in the room could agree on everything, but the common goal was the Cache la Poudre River’s best interests, and I loved that.”

The morning was dedicated to laying out the costs of water while the afternoon provided insights into the current solutions being explored and implemented in Northern Colorado.

The morning panel: Laying Out the Costs

Panelists: Adam Jokerst, Westwater Research; Dr. Chris Goemans, Colorado State University; Donnie Dustin, City of Fort Collins; Calar Chaussee, Town of Wellington Mayor; Moderator: Zach Thode, Roberts Ranch

The afternoon panel: Working toward Solutions

Panelists: Dena Egenhoff, City of Greeley; Karen Schlatter, Colorado Water Center; Christ Matkins, Ally Utility Consulting; Kate Ryan, Colorado Water Trust

The presentation slides are available here.

The videos are available on the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area’s YouTube channel.

“It was my first time attending, and I will absolutely be back. Great information the entire day and I really walked away with so much more knowledge than walking in.”


The 2024 Poudre Pioneer Award was presented to Randy Gustafson during a lunchtime speech from Katie Donahue, Director of Natural Areas with City of Fort Collins, and Kellen Dowdy, Water Resource Planning and Watershed Program Manager with City of Greeley.

The day wrapped up with hearty laughter and engaging conversation between Alex Hager, KUNC reporter, and keynote speaker, Robert Sakata.

“Without the farmer, you would be hungry, naked and sober,” said Sakata with a laugh as he pointed to his shirt with the saying.

A casual reception capped the day allowing attendees to connect over beverages crafted from Poudre River water.

Thank you to our local, state and US legislators in attendance for caring about water issues in Colorado and being a part of the solution.

Thank you to Horse & Dragon Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Company for providing refreshments. Our sincere gratitude to attendees, volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible, including the City of Greeley, Northern Water and Fort Collins Utilites. A huge thank you to the Aims Community College event staff.

We hope you join us for forum next year on March 7, 2024!