Predicting the Future of Water in the West

August 24, 2021
11:00-11:45 a.m. PDT

This event has passed. See below for a video recording.

The SAIL site in Gothic, Colorado (Credit: Ken Williams, Berkeley Lab)

Reporters are invited to participate in a virtual media roundtable with scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Colorado State University, and Boise State University. They will introduce the Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) campaign, the first-ever “bedrock-to-atmosphere” mountain observatory. SAIL will be collecting comprehensive observations to allow scientists to predict the future of water availability in the West.

Mountain watersheds provide up to 90% of water resources worldwide, and 40 million people rely on the Colorado River for water. But little is known about how all of the physical processes that affect water resources come together to control the water that the Colorado River produces now and in a changing climate. On September 1, the Department of Energy will launch this unprecedented climate observatory near the headwaters of the Colorado River to fill these gaps to understand the future of water.



Dan Feldman, Berkeley Lab

How SAIL adds to scientists’ understanding of mountain ecosystems and impacts of climate change.

Allison Aiken, Los Alamos National Lab

How aerosols in the atmosphere affect mountain snowpack.

Ken Williams, Berkeley Lab

From the atmosphere to the bedrock, what data from SAIL can tell us about water availability and quality.

Headshot of Jessie Creamean.

Jessie Creamean, Colorado State University

Where aerosols come from and how they help clouds form ice and snow.

Lejo Flores, Boise State University

How to create a better weather model for the upper Colorado River.


Each scientist will speak for a few minutes about their perspective on water in the West, followed by open Q&A.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021 | 11:00-11:45 a.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m. EDT


Virtually by Zoom