Join the conversation – Landscape 2030

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, once said, “Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes — one for peace and one for science.”

Landscape 2030Decades later, water is an ever-present issue locally, nationally and internationally. So, what do our local experts have to say? You can find out – and add your perspective – at Landscape 2030, an event that brings together diverse viewpoints from community leaders who will discuss their vision for water in the West.

Enjoy this free event at the Denver Botanic Gardens and join in on the discussion about:

Smart growth: “In addition to the challenges we face, such as climate change, droughts, wildfires, economic uncertainties and more, we are headed toward a Front Range of 5 million people. As the water provider to more than a million people in the Denver metro area, we must plan 50 years into the future. We need to think about the nexus of smart growth – urban densification – and water use. The idea of building up, not out, will only intensify in the future, and will help to stretch the water supply.” —Jim Lochhead, Denver Water CEO

Agricultural vs. urban water use: “Denver’s water supply system does not operate in isolation from Colorado’s water economy, which has long passed from its ‘expansionary phase’ in which new supplies were abundant and relatively inexpensive into what might be called its ‘mature phase,’ in which few new options exist and development costs are rapidly escalating.  As this situation has evolved, water users, both urban and agricultural, find their systems physically linked and their economic activities interdependent. Both urban and agricultural water use is more efficient now than it was 20 years ago and will be more efficient still 20 years from now. In the future, the links among users will make it possible to share water in ways that to continue to support a growing economy, a vital urban landscape, and a flourishing agricultural sector.” —Dan Luecke, hydrologist and environmental scientist

Replacing bluegrass: “The homebuyer is ready to accept homes and landscaping that feature water demand reduction as part of a water sustainable lifestyle. We have found that landscaping that incorporates sustainable practices is very attractive and acceptable to the new home buyer. Our research is also finding that edible landscaping or home gardening is truly a trend and not a fad and we are seeing it implemented in many venues.” —Harold Smethills, managing director of Sterling Ranch LLC

Climate change: “We’ve been monitoring our climate here in the Denver area with thermometers and rain gauges for more than 140 years and that has taught us a great deal. While our climate follows the basic rhythm of the seasons, no two years are ever the same.  Looking ahead to 2030, if what we think we know about our climate is at all close to the truth, we’ll have more hotter days in the years to come and fewer cold days. Winters will not be harsh, but water supplies will be tenuous at times. Take photos of our landscapes today and then look at them again in 2030. We’ll be surprised at how much things change even with only modest changes in the climate.” —Nolan Doesken, state climatologist

Sustainability: “Water is the critical issue for the next century not just for the Rocky Mountain West but the entire world. We have the opportunity in Colorado to pave the way and show a new type of balance and long-term sustainability.” —Brian Vogt, Denver Botanic Gardens CEO

Be part of the conversation!

What: A discussion facilitated by Denver Botanic Gardens CEO Brian Vogt, with panelists Jim Lochhead, Dan Luecke, Harold Smethills and Nolan Doesken.

When: Wednesday, July 31, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Denver Botanic Gardens, Mitchell Hall, 1007 York Street (Directions)

RSVP necessary: This free event is open to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to

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