CDR Associates to lead strategic planning for water policy institute at Spur campus

Spur's Water Center

Colorado State University System has selected CDR as the lead consultant to conduct strategic planning for a water policy institute at the future Spur campus at the National Western Center in north 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.

The CDR team is comprised of three Colorado-based organizations: CDR Associates, which provides stakeholder engagement and leads the decision-making process; ICS Consulting, which provides innovative solutions to complex water problems; and LRE Water, which provides engineering services for resolving water resources challenges. 

“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, principal and owner of ICS Consulting, agreed: “We need a place like WWPI 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 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.

About Spur: CSU System at the National Western Center

Coming in 2022: CSU System will open Spur, where innovative ideas and unforgettable experiences come to life at the National Western Center. Spur’s three buildings at the center of the landmark project in north Denver will engage all learners and fuel new solutions around water, food, and health – creating impact on our lives and our world. Spur is where learning is open and accessible to all. Where researchers tackle the world’s most pressing problems around water, food, and health. Where art and culture challenge and surround you. Where rural and urban, local and global intersect. Learn more at csuspur.com

About the CDR Associates Team

For over 40 years, CDR Associates has provided expert process guidance to ensure a people-oriented approach to complex challenges. CDR’s services include facilitation, stakeholder engagement, and the development of agreements. The CDR Team is joined by LRE Water, an engineering firm, and ICS Consulting, an expert in complex water networks, to bring a diverse set of perspectives to the WWPI.