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Business of Water Summit

The Business of Water summit provides a unique platform for businesses and other water leaders to discuss ways to balance water demands for industry, cities, agriculture, and recreation in the West.

Using the Colorado River as a case study, our Business of Water summits:

  • Engage and encourage business leaders to share innovative best practices on sustainable water use and management, while making the connection to an improved quality of life that results in healthy rivers
  • Convene business leaders, policy makers, water managers, and NGOs to advance bipartisan water sustainability policy solutions
  • Provide companies with opportunities to highlight and be acknowledged for their corporate water stewardship activities via op-eds, news articles, social media, and presentations      

Dozens of global corporations, including Intel, Qualcomm, PepsiCo, and MillerCoors, along with major water providers, including Denver Water, Central Arizona Project, Metropolitan Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority have sponsored and played key roles at the Business of Water summits.

Click below to explore the outcomes of recent summits.

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Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) provides a federal perspective at the 2016 Business of Water Summit.

Local Water Meetings

Based on demand from companies and water leaders in our network, we are piloting Business of Water meetings at the local level. In these smaller settings businesses can directly participate in solving water challenges specific to their community or state.

Summer Outdoor Retailer Market
June 18 – 20, 2019
At this year’s Summer Outdoor Retailer market in Denver we made water, rivers and drought a central theme. With a chalk art display at the entrance of the show we brought the issue of drought to everyone’s attention with a dry river bed and the message “One wet year won’t save our rivers”. People took photos of themselves trying to navigate the dry river bed and posted with #fortheloveofCO. We also sponsored a panel with speakers including Navy Seal Josh Jespersen, author Heather Hansman and Co-Founder of Big Agnes Len Zanni. Read Josh’s piece on rivers here.

The show was also a great place to soft launch a new statewide water education campaign called For the Love of Colorado. Speakers included Denver Metro Chamber CEO Kelly Brough and Colorado Water District General Manager Andy Mueller. Their message was simple- Colorado depends on its rivers for our economic vitality, quality of life and way of life. We must protect and fund our rivers.

 

Arizona Sports Morning at the Capitol
February 27, 2019

Our main message is simple: Professional sports are important to Arizona, and water is important for the future of professional sports. Many of Arizona’s teams are already playing a positive role in Arizona’s water future by putting in place important on-site water conservation measures. However, the voice of our professional sports teams has thus far been absent from statewide water discussions.

Our meeting at the Capitol started to change that. Participants from the Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondback, Phoenix Suns joined us to hear from Arizona lawmakers including Senate President Karen Fann, Senate Water Committee Chair Sine Fine and Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers about the current state of play on Arizona water policy, what’s going on in the current legislative session, and what to expect when it comes to planning future solutions for all Colorado River water users.

The program provided an intimate forum for the sports team representatives to share what water conservation means to their teams, why as corporate and community leaders they are tracking these issues, and why they are invested in securing Arizona’s water future.

Meetings like these in Arizona helped in the effort to pass state legislation supporting the Drought Contingency Plan, which was then sent on to Congress and the President for their approval.

Outdoor Retailer Lunch Highlights Voters Attitudes on Water
January 31, 2019
This January, BWS sponsored the Conservation in the West lunch at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver. An industry trade show, the “Snow Show” brings 15,000 outdoor professionals to Denver. Snow show attendees agreed that healthy rivers and water supplies provide the basis not just for the activities and traditions that we love, but for the well-being of our economy. Results from the 2019 State of the Rockies poll were presented to lunch attendees showing that, by and large, Westerners recognize the Colorado River’s importance and strongly support water conservation efforts. Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Corporations are Investing in Arizona’s Water Future and Urging Arizona Lawmakers to Find Long Term Drought Planning Solutions
February 6, 2018
At the Arizona State Capitol in early February, business representatives from Intel Corporation, Cox Communications, Cox Automotive, Swire Coca Cola, Siemens, Ewing Irrigation and the Arizona Diamondbacks talked to leaders and law makers about water risk, efficiencies their companies have invested in, their collective commitment to river restoration, and to emphasize the economic need for a comprehensive drought plan. Businesses need a reliable source of water and the drought planning process currently being debated in the Arizona legislature is a critical piece of the conversation. Click here to read the full story.

Club 20 Panel at the Colorado State Capitol
February 2, 2018
On February 2, Business for Water Stewardship hosted a panel on Water Reuse at the Colorado State Capitol as part of Club 20’s Rural Voices Day. Panelists talked about both the need for the Front Range to find better ways to maximize our water to avoid any new West Slope diversions and also about the economic impacts of water across the state. Click here for the full story.

 

Corporate Leaders Take on Washington DC
October 30, 2017 
At the end of October, Business for Water Stewardship hosted a corporate fly-in to Washington, DC bringing the business voice on water to members of Congress, congressional staff and federal agencies. The fly-in addressed two primary goals: to bring the water stories of major corporate partners to federal policy makers and to promote a smart water policy agenda. With representation from the Coca Cola Company, SUEZ Water Technologies and Solutions, Salt Lake Chamber, and Stantech we outlined water strategies and programs within their companies related to efficiencies, conservation and stream flow restoration. Click here to read more.

Aspen Business Lunch
August 23, 2017
Overlooking the gorgeous Aspen Valley, Business for Water Stewardship was honored to host the weekly Aspen Business Lunch in August. This 42 year tradition brings business, civic, government and community leaders together to learn about a relevant local issue. Our speakers for the day included Marianne Virgilli- Glenwood Chamber and Resort Association, Pete Yang- Alpine Bank, Aspen Branch and Rick Lofaro- Roaring Fork Conservancy. Click here to read more.

Grand Junction, CO
May 15, 2017
Combining with the Colorado River District and CMU Hutchins Water Center annual State of the River event, Business for Water Stewardship joined to bring the business voice to the discussion. A full afternoon agenda included general information on the Colorado River Basin, water law basics, and a distinguished business leader panel- “Why Should the Business Community Care About Water on the West Slope?” After some networking attendees joined up again to hear a snowpack report, hear from retiring Colorado River District General Manager Eric Kuhn, and learn about the innovative Grand Valley Water Users Association water banking pilot project. Read here for more.

Blue Mountain Lakes Landscape ScenicCarbondale, CO
March 28, 2017
Gathering at the innovative Marble Distilling Company in Carbondale, Colorado 40 business leaders and water experts learned about Roaring Fork Valley water issues and toured the distillery’s unique facilities.  As a follow up to our October Business of Water in Glenwood Springs, we wanted to offer leaders a chance to network, learn about water news in the valley and hear about ways to engage in 2017 as we continue to work on the Colorado Water Plan. Click here to read more.

Sedona-175x225Res72Sedona, AZ
December 2, 2016
Celebrating a recent successful public-private partnership project called the Verde River Exchange Program we convened local elected officials, local businesses -including wineries involved with the project- and community leaders in Sedona to highlight what an economic driver the Verde River is to this area.  The event focused on a shared goal of business and conservation groups- to protect the Verde River, Oak Creek, and Arizona’s future water supplies. The Exchange connects residents and businesses in the Verde Valley willing to temporarily reduce their water use with others seeking to offset the impacts of their groundwater pumping. The collaborative project offers potential to reverse the decline of water levels and bolster river flows while promoting sustainable economic development.  Click here to read more.

Phoenix-175x225Res72Phoenix, AZ
November 1, 2016
In Phoenix we convened 30 Arizona business leaders, as well as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Central Arizona Project and the AZ Director of Water Resources for a high-level policy briefing on the current status of the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan and Process.  The event provided a two-way dialogue between the business community and water agency leaders and was a candid conversation about operating in Arizona under the current status of drought and contingency planning for the future.

Glendale-175x225Res72Glenwood Springs, CO 
October 18, 2016
We hosted over 50 business leaders and water experts in Glenwood Springs, CO to discuss Colorado’s water management, the larger issues of the basin’s water deficits, and the new Colorado Water Plan from Governor Hickenlooper. After the summit many businesses added their names to this full page ad which ran in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and the Aspen Times on the one year anniversary of the Colorado Water Plan. Sponsors SGM, Colorado River District, Roaring Fork Conservancy and Chaffin Light Management authored this op-ed in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, providing a way for business leaders to be a voice on the importance of the Colorado River system to both the state and river basin’s economies.

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