In 1860, in a rare moment of honesty prevailing over boosterism, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News admitted that the young city of Denver was a sepia-toned settlement still embarrassingly “treeless, grassless, [and] bushless.” Today, the runoff from the Rocky Mountains helps to keep Denver and its metro area both verdant and vibrant (and, not coincidentally, awash in good beer). Jason Hanson, coauthor with Patty Limerick of A Ditch in Time: The City, The West, and Water, will discuss how Denver was transformed through the creation of its water supply system.
Jason Hanson is a member of the research faculty at the Center of the American West at CU-Boulder. In addition to his work on water, he focuses on issues surrounding energy development and land use, Colorado history, and beer. He is currently guest editing a special issue of Journal of the West devoted to the history of beer in the region.