Brad Udall
Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment
University of Colorado School of Law

As the new director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, Brad Udall brings a wealth of experience with him. Previously, Udall was the director of the CU-Boulder–NOAA Western Water Assessment. He brings a successful career in natural resources policy to the helm of the Getches-Wilkinson Center. Udall has worked closely with the Natural Resources Law Center over the years, sponsoring work by the center and speaking at the center’s annual conference on numerous occasions. He has held a research faculty position for over 10 years at CU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences. Udall has also served on NGO boards including the Parkinson’s Action Network and the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts. In addition, he has served as an executive director with the Eagle Valley Land Trust. Udall has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications on water management and climate change which have been published by the federal government and by several major journals.


The Colorado River is currently in the midst of a 14 year long drought nearly unrivaled in over 1250 years. The river’s two massive reservoirs, Lakes Mead and Powell, are now less than half full. Due to the drought, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation now projects that the first delivery shortages are likely to occur in two years.  Further, scientists are confident that climate change will reduce Colorado River runoff by 2050.  Water managers also believe that demand will increase because of increased population and warmer temperatures. The current legal system for operating this critical system is not tenable in the face of these pressures. Given that the entire American Southwest including all of its major population centers are dependent on the reliable supply of Colorado River water, what solutions in basin are likely in the near and distant future?

You are invited to stay for a reception following the forum.