Newswise — LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 1, 2022—As planning for carbon-free energy production gains momentum across the Intermountain West, water has come to the forefront as a key enabling resource. To give stakeholders and the public an opportunity to learn about the issues and weigh in with their concerns about water availability, use and conservation during this transition, the Intermountain West Energy Sustainability & Transitions initiative is holding a free virtual workshop June 14.

“In regions such as the Intermountain West, where persistent drought and water scarcity are already impacting communities, environments and economies, water management is a key factor in the energy transition,” said Jolante Van Wijk, a geologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and member of the I-WEST strategic planning team. “This workshop is an opportunity for regional stakeholders to join the conversation about the challenges and opportunities water presents as I-WEST develops a roadmap for the transition.”

Van Wijk encourages concerned citizens and advocacy groups; farmers and ranchers; tribal, state, city and county leaders and project leaders working on water-related initiatives to participate in the free, three-hour workshop. It will be held as a videoconference over the WebEx platform, which is a free download. For more information, to view an agenda or to register, visit or contact [email protected] for assistance.

“We are excited to be part of the community dialog on transitioning our region to new, low-carbon energy economies by leveraging technologies like hydrogen production and capturing carbon dioxide,” said John Sarrao, Deputy Director for Science, Technology and Engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “In our region, water is clearly something we need to understand and get right as we look to deploy these technologies. This workshop is an important step in that journey.”

Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories are jointly organizing the workshop as part of the memorandum of understanding between the State of New Mexico and New Mexico’s two national laboratories.

Working together on an energy-transition roadmap

Led by Los Alamos for the U.S. Department of Energy, I-WEST encompasses Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. I-WEST’s place-based approach to achieving a carbon-neutral economy emphasizes community-level input and prioritizes the geographical attributes, economic landscape and societal readiness of the region.

The energy-transition roadmap will incorporate public feedback from this workshop and others. The roadmap will outline the needs and concerns of the people in the region, including the resources available for sustainable energy, potential industry partners and the economic and policy landscapes.

The roadmap will also lay out, at the regional level, which sustainable-energy technologies could be most appropriately used in carbon-neutral energy systems, where energy production doesn’t add any new carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Those technologies include clean hydrogen, bioenergy and carbon capture, storage and utilization.

The workshop will combine technical perspectives on water for energy production in the I-WEST region and a facilitated discussion in which participants can ask questions, express concerns and share ideas. Participants are encouraged to submit their water-related questions on the workshop registration web page to help spur a robust discussion.

The workshop will cover current regional water usage for daily consumption, agriculture and energy production. It will then look at water needs for various carbon-neutral energy technologies and how much they will impact water usage. Experts will provide projections for likely changes in surface water availability as the climate evolves and discuss opportunities for water recovery from produced water (from oil and gas operations) and CO2 storage.

Roundtable discussions will give stakeholders and other registrants a chance to comment and ask questions.

Information gleaned from the workshop will help shape the I-WEST roadmap.

Workshop Information

June 14, 2022, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm MT.

Held virtually via Webex.

Register at or contact [email protected] for assistance. Registration is free but required for participants to attend.