Colorado Water Conservation Board Welcomes New Representatives

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March 12, 2024 (Denver, CO)—Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Board) applauded the confirmation in the Colorado legislature of Colorado Water Conservation Board members recently appointed by Governor Polis. Returning representative John McClow from the Gunnison Basin and new representative Brad Wind from the South Platte Basin—will be joining the Board, and Barbara Vasquez from the North Platte Basin will be reappointed. 


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 then confirmed by the Colorado State Senate. The Board also includes six state officials including Colorado Water Conservation Director Lauren Ris, Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg, Interim State Engineer Tracy Kosloff, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Jeff Davis, and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. Board members have experience and expertise in water resource management, water project financing, engineering, water law, farming, and ranching.


“Colorado’s current and future water supplies are on the forefront of many Coloradans’ minds,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Department of Natural Resources. “We greatly appreciate Governor Polis appointing the Colorado legislature confirming the new Board members who expertly represent their respective river Basins. We look forward to their contributions to help guide Colorado’s water and funding policies, to ensure a sustainable water future for generations to come.”


“These Board members are respected experts and true leaders in the water community. They bring many decades of experience to the table at a time when we have a number of critical water challenges in front of us. We are excited to work alongside them,” said Lauren Ris, Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board. 


New and returning Colorado Water Conservation Board Members include: 


John McClow of Gunnison, Colorado, returns to the Board to serve as representative of the Gunnison Basin–he previously served from 2009 to 2018. ​McClow is general counsel for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, member of the Board of Directors of the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, and Chair of Colorado Water Congress' State Affairs Committee. He is also a current board member and previous President of Colorado Water Congress, and served from 2013-2014 as Colorado’s Commissioner on the Upper Colorado River Commission. 


Brad Wind of Berthoud, Colorado, joins the Board to serve as representative of the South Platte Basin. Since 2018, Wind has served as the general manager of Northern Water, a Conservancy District situated in northeastern Colorado that encompasses 640,000 irrigable acres and is home to nearly 980,000 Coloradans. He has worked at Northern Water since 1994, previously serving as an engineer and deputy manager of operations. 


And Barbara Vasquez of Cowdrey, Colorado, will be reappointed to continue as representative of the North Platte Basin. Vasquez has contributed to Colorado public land resource management and environmental issues including serving on the Bureau of Land Management NW CO Resource Advisory Council for eight years and as a representative for the North Platte Basin Roundtable since 2006.


McClow and Wind’s appointments take over for Steven Anderson and Robert Sakata, respectively. Anderson is retiring after serving six years on the Board as representative of the Gunnison Basin. And Sakata leaves the Board as representative of the South Platte Basin since 2021 to serve as the state’s first Agricultural Water Policy Advisor within the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The agency thanks Anderson and Sakata for their dedicated years of service on the Board.