Governor Polis Appoints Colorado Water Conservation Board Director

Chris Arend,

Communications Director,

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Department of Natural Resources,

chris.arend@state.co.us

Governor Polis Appoints Colorado Water Conservation Board Director Rebecca Mitchell to Upper Colorado River Commission

Governor Jared Polis appointed Rebecca Mitchell as the Colorado Commissioner to the Upper Colorado River Commission today.  The Upper Colorado River Commission is an interstate water agency consisting of the Upper Colorado River Basin states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.

“The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the American West and is critically important for Colorado’s economy, agriculture, outdoor recreation and our way of life,” said Governor Polis. “Rebecca Mitchell will bring experience, leadership and a thorough knowledge of Colorado River issues and will enhance the shared mission of the Upper basin states of comity and collaboration as the Colorado River Commissioner.”

The Upper Colorado River Commission’s function is to ensure compact compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact. The Commission was established so states work together and in partnership to meet their obligations to the lower basin states while safeguarding the Upper basin states’ Colorado River water rights and allocations.  The Commission is comprised of one representative appointed by the Governor of each Upper basin state and one member appointed by the President to represent the United States.

“The Colorado River faces unique future challenges with increased population, persistent drought, and impacts of climate change,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We appreciate the service of outgoing Commissioner James Eklund, and Becky is ready to take the reins. She has been an incredible leader at the Colorado Water Conservation Board and her experience is needed now more than ever as the Upper basin states’ enact their provisions of the Colorado River drought contingency plans signed earlier this year.”

“It’s an honor to serve as the Colorado Commissioner for the Upper Colorado River Commission,” said Rebecca Mitchell, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board. “There is no more important river than the Colorado both here and across the American West. In Colorado, we have built a strong culture of collaboration, innovation, and smart policy to drive future water planning and I plan on bringing the same cooperative spirit and leadership to the Upper Colorado River Commission.”

“I am so proud to have represented Colorado in achieving interstate and international solutions for the Colorado River,” said outgoing Commissioner James Eklund. “The innovative tools we created and put in place are ready for implementation to the benefit of the entire basin. Colorado is now well-positioned to continue its legacy of leadership under the Polis Administration collaboratively and inclusively.”

Rebecca Mitchell (Becky) serves as the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB).  She is an accomplished water leader with over 17 years of experience in the Colorado water sector and highly knowledgeable in the water laws of the State. Mitchell played a significant part in working with the State’s Basin Roundtables, the Interbasin Compact Committee, the public at large and CWCB staff in producing Colorado’s Water Plan.  Becky has worked in the public and private sector as a consulting engineer; she received both her B.S. and M.S. from the Colorado School of Mines.

Governor Polis also appointed John McClow, General Counsel for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District and David Robbins, Hill & Robbins, P.C. to serve as alternate commissioners.