Fracking, Water, Education

Sep 18, 2012 | Economy, Government & Policy

Is hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) safe? Will Northern Colorado run out of water in the next 20 years? Will Colorado have the money to properly educate tomorrow’s workers?

These questions and others will be answered at the Northern Colorado Regional Issues Summit next Wednesday morning September 26.

Each issue in turn is important to the economy and livability of the region. For example, fracking has become an issue recently due to its use to extract oil and natural gas from the Niobrara shale rock formation that covers parts of northeast Colorado, northwest Kansas, southwest Nebraska and southeast Wyoming. The process to access the deposits is hydraulic fracturing or commonly called fracking. How does it work? What safeguards are in place? Why do some environmental groups oppose it while people like Governor Hickenlooper a trained geologist support it? Find out on the 26th.

Water wars are a part of Western lore. It’s just that guns have been replaced with laws, lawyers and activists. But the numbers don’t lie: Northern Colorado doesn’t have enough water to meet demand over the next 20 years. Some claim that there is plenty of water, if we just conserve more. Experienced water managers emphatically say otherwise. Where will our water come from if projects like the expansion of the Halligan Reservoir and the construction of Glade Reservoir are blocked by no-growth activists? Find out on the 26th.

Colorado is a net importer of talent from around the country, even the globe. That’s a good thing because due to constraints voters have built into the state constitution, it is increasingly difficult to affordably educate our own residents. Post-secondary education, in particular, has seen ever diminished financial support from state government. The irony is that so-called public universities and colleges will reach the point where they no longer receive tax support from Colorado taxpayers. How do they remain financially sustainable? Does it even matter? (Hint: it does). Find out on the 26th.

The Regional Issues Summit will be held on the morning of September 26, 7:30 11:00 AM at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. It is being held in conjunction with the Northern Colorado Business Report’s Bixpo. Hosts of the Summit include the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (the Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland Chambers of Commerce and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation) and Leadership Northern Colorado.

To find out more and register for the Northern Colorado Regional Issues Summit, go here.