Colorado State University selected CDR Associates, LRE Water, and ICS Consulting to initiate planning for a new water policy institute at the future Spur campus at the National Western Center in 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.
CDR Associates, which provides stakeholder engagement, will lead the strategic planning and decision-making process. “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, owner of ICS Consulting, agreed: “We need a place like [Spur] 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.
On April 30, 2020, at 1:30 p.m., CSU System will host a groundbreaking celebration with campus leaders, program partners, and community members at the future site of the Spur campus. The event is free and open to the public and will include site tours and a sampling of programs and activities that will be offered at the future campus—where researchers will tackle the world’s most pressing problems around water, food, and health.