WESTERN WATER Q&A: COLORADO’S WATER CHIEF BECKY MITCHELL, NOW THE STATE’S POINT PERSON ON THE UPPER COLORADO RIVER COMMISSION, BRINGS DECADES OF WATER KNOW-HOW TO STATE, INTERSTATE ASSIGNMENTS
Colorado is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and the water policy decisions made in the Centennial State reverberate throughout the river’s sprawling basin that stretches south to Mexico. The stakes are huge in a basin that serves 40 million people, and responding to the water needs of the economy, productive agriculture, a robust recreational industry and environmental protection takes expertise, leadership and a steady hand.
Colorado has that in Becky Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board since 2017 and the second woman to lead the state’s primary water management agency in its 83-year history.
A key player in one of the West’s flash points of balancing competing water demands, Mitchell was a significant contributor to the Colorado Water Plan, the inaugural 2015 document that aims to establish measurable objectives, goals and actions by which the state will address its projected future water needs.
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