Monday, November 7, 2011

Profile on MRLS Alumnus Britta Strother, Interim Executive Director of South Metro Water Supply Authority

Britta Strother, who holds a Masters of Resources Law Studies degree from the Denver Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law Graduate Program, has been named Interim Executive Director of the South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA). In this role, Ms. Stroher is responsible for the management of all activity that is taken by the SMWSA. She oversees the budget as well as all of the engineering, accounting and public relations work that are done.

Formed in 2004, the SMWSA is a regional water authority that includes most of Douglas and some of Arapahoe counties in Colorado. SMWSA provides its members with the necessary planning, negotiation and implementation tools to secure renewable water resources for their constituents. Some of the municipalities and special water districts that are part of SMWSA include: the town of Castle Rock, Parker Water and Sanitation District, Centennial Water and Sanitation District (Highlands Ranch), and East Cherry Creek Water and Sanitation District. A full list of members can be found by clicking here.

Ms. Strother joined SMWSA in September 2007 as the Water Resource Specialist. In this position, Ms. Strother was immediately involved in negotiations between members, evaluation of potential water rights purchases and regional studies for water infrastructure integration.

Holding a Masters in Resource Law Studies with specializations in water law and policy as well as environmental law and policy from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law provided Ms. Stroher with "unique and powerful tools for these responsibilities," according to Lucy Daberkow, Associate Administrative Director of the Denver Law program.

In February 2011, Ms. Strother was promoted to Water Resources Project Manager. Her role with the SMWSA expanded with this new position to include the coordination and development of infrastructure including pipelines, reservoirs and interconnects and also a greater management of the daily SMWSA needs (including budget development and project oversight).

As the SMWSA continues in the negotiations that her predecessor, Rod Kuharich, began, Ms. Strother hopes to bring a number of important supply projects to fruition in the coming months. One exciting project that the SMWSA is negotiating is the Water Infrastructure Supply Efficiency (WISE) Partnership, a regional delivery project between Denver Water, Aurora and SMWSA. The WISE Partnership contemplates sharing existing water rights and infrastructure from all three parties to serve the SMWSA with on average 10,000 acre-feet per year either directly into member’s respective distribution systems or into surface and aquifer storage. The three parties are currently in negotiations for the WISE delivery agreement, anticipated to be signed in early 2012. This project is one component to the SMWSA master plan to remove some of the strain on the non-renewable Denver basin ground water by delivering renewable surface water. It represents the forward thinking that is currently taking place to meet the current and anticipated future water demands of the Denver metropolitan area.

Ms. Daberkow said, "It is wonderful to see the important contributions that Ms. Strother is making to the critical issues of water supply in the arid Rocky Mountain West. By studying at Denver Law, Ms. Strother put in place an understanding of the important issues that will serve her well throughout her entire career.

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