Colorado Water Conservation Board Elects New Board Chair and Vice Chair

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May 15, 2024 (Granby, CO) - This morning, during the May Board meeting in Granby, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) elected Nathan Coombs as the new Board Chair and Lorelei Cloud as Vice Chair. 


“Directors Coombs and Cloud joined as Board members last March, and have made valuable contributions over the last year,” said CWCB Director Lauren Ris. “We are excited to see what they do in the next year in these leadership roles—from navigating tough conversations to leading productive brainstorming to listening to viewpoints from across the state.”


Board Chair appointments are a one-year term. The 15-member Board includes nine representatives from each major Colorado river basin as well as the Denver metro area who are appointed by the Governor and then confirmed by the Colorado State Senate. Board members have experience and expertise in water resource management, water project financing, engineering, water law, farming and ranching. In March 2023, Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed Coombs and Cloud to the CWCB to represent their respective basins.  


Coombs serves as the representative of the Rio Grande Basin and is a 4th-generation farmer from San Luis Valley. He has strived to support the livelihoods of agricultural water users in the upper Rio Grande Basin through his work as manager of the Conejos Water Conservancy District. Coombs takes over as CWCB Board Chair from Greg Felt, representative of the Arkansas River basin and Chair from 2023 to 2024. 


“I’m honored to serve as Chair of the CWCB, to bring in my experience working in the challenging landscape of the San Luis Valley, and lean on the experiences of the rest of the Board. We face so many water challenges in Colorado, so it’s critical we all come together to find creative solutions,” said Coombs.   


Cloud serves as the representative of the San Miguel-Dolores-San Juan drainage basin, and also serves as Vice Chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Cloud is the first Tribal Council Member to join the Board and is a leader in Colorado, bringing critical Tribal voices to the table. The role of CWCB Vice Chair was formerly held by Robert Sakata before he transitioned into a new role within the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  


“In my work representing the southwest, and in my position as a Tribal leader, it’s so important to make sure Tribes are always a part of the conversation in Colorado,” said Cloud. “In my role as Vice Chair, I look forward to continuing these conversations and seeking out new opportunities for all voices in water to be heard.”