Policy and Collaboration Specialist (retired), CSU Water Center
MaryLou Smith grew up in eastern New Mexico on an irrigated cotton and alfalfa farm where she learned Spanish. She cultivated a keen interest in Latino culture and concern about discrimination toward ethnic minorities. Smith served as co-founder and vice-president of Aqua Engineering for 30 years before joining the CSU Water Center in 2010. Through the Water Center she convened and facilitated agricultural, urban and environmental stakeholders to collaborate toward agreement on water policy issues in Colorado and the Colorado River Basin.
Table Topic: Better Water Decisions Through Diversity
CSU Water Sustainability Fellows—a program MaryLou Smith designed to introduce young Hispanic students to water policy and introduce them to Colorado water professionals—has raised the awareness of the importance of ethnic diversity in Colorado water decision making. Smith will engage with those at her table about the importance of that diversity, and how it might best be nurtured as Colorado works toward making the decisions called for in its Colorado Water Plan.