While the state struggles to meet an impending water gap, there is no shortage of people willing to talk about solutions.

While the state struggles to meet an impending water gap, there is no shortage of people willing to talk about solutions.

Nearly 50 speakers are lined up for this year’s Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, April 26-27 at Hotel Elegante, 2886 S. Circle Drive, Colorado Springs.

The event, which began in 1995, moves to different areas within the Arkansas River basin each year. The Forum was developed as a means to bring together the diverse water interests to explain their views and engage in open dialogue about water issues in the basin.

Colorado Springs and El Paso County are in the spotlight this year. Nearly every aspect of the water spectrum is playing out in that region. El Paso County is the source of the coming water gap because of population growth. Watershed mitigation from tragic wildfires in 2012-13 will be reviewed. Controlling stormwater releases has become a political hotbed for Colorado Springs.

Panels will study agriculture, municipal water delivery, groundwater, infrastructure, potable water reuse, recreation, land use, conflict resolution and the role of conservancy districts.

Afternoon tours by bus, foot and bicycle will look at the interface between watersheds and development in the Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs areas. Keynote speakers include Peter Binney, former director of Aurora Water and now a consultant; and Patricia Wells, general counsel for Denver Water. Retiring State Engineer Dick Wolfe and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Water Adviser John Stulp also will make presentations.

The group also will present its Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas award, announce scholarship recipients and recognize art contest winners.

Reservations and information about this year’s forum are available at www.ARBWF.org.