Kevin Rein, State Engineer and Director of the Division of Water Resources, Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Cleave Simpson, Colorado Senator, District 35
Brad Udall, Senior Water & Climate Research Scientist, Colorado Water Institute
Emma Reesor, Executive Director, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project
Cindy Medina, Alamosa Riverkeeper
Kevin Rein was appointed to the position of State Engineer and Director of the Division of Water Resources by Governor Hickenlooper on July 13, 2017. Kevin has worked at the Division of Water Resources since 1998 as a Team Leader and Chief of Water Supply, and most recently as the Deputy State Engineer for intrastate water supply and water court matters. Kevin directs the performance of the division’s responsibilities, which include administration of water rights in Colorado, issuing well permits, performing administrative approvals for water use, administering programs that ensure the safety of dams and the safe construction of water wells, and providing information and education resources to the public. Prior to coming to the Division of Water Resources, Kevin worked in utility engineering, business automation consulting, and water resources consulting. Kevin is a native of Colorado and a graduate of Colorado State University.
Senator Cleave Simpson serves as the general manager of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and past chairman of the on the Adams State University Board of Trustees.
Simpson’s primary focus in the senate is rural Colorado relevance, resilience and prosperity.
A fourth-generation San Luis Valley farmer and rancher, Simpson has a deep understanding of the water issues facing Colorado’s agriculture and rural communities. He believes leadership through a thoughtful, collaborative approach is necessary to provide solutions to the pressing needs across Senate District 35 and the state of Colorado.
Simpson serves as a representative on the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable and is a Roundtable representative to the statewide Interbasin Compact Committee. He is active in the Colorado Water Congress, and has served on the Farm Service Agency County Committee, Alamosa County Planning Commission, Alamosa Mosquito Control District and Alamosa School District Accountability Committee. He is a member of Action 22, the Colorado Farm Bureau, and is a lifelong Republican.
Brad Udall has an extensive background in water and climate policy issues, including as Director of the Western Water Assessment (University of Colorado), as the first Director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment (University of Colorado), and currently as the first senior water and climate research scientist/scholar at the Colorado Water Institute (Colorado State University). He has written extensively on the impacts of climate change on water resources in the American West. He was the lead author of the water sector chapter of the Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009), a publication of the United States Global Change Research Program, and was an author of the Western Water Assessment’s Climate Change in Colorado Report. He was formerly a consulting engineer and the managing partner at Hydrosphere Resource Consultants. The California Department of Water Resources awarded him its Climate Science Service Award for his work in facilitating interactions between water managers and scientists, and the Department of Interior bestowed the Partner in Conservation Award on the Western Water Assessment for his work on the groundbreaking 2007 EIS on Colorado River shortages and coordinated reservoir operations. He has an engineering degree from Stanford and an MBA from Colorado State University.
Emma Reesor serves as the Executive Director for the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, a local non-profit working to improve the health of the Rio Grande in the Colorado. Emma grew up on the prairies of Kansas and graduated from Bethel College (KS) with a BA in Biology. After moving to the San Luis Valley in 2013, she has applied her passion for rivers and restoration ecology through her involvement in the RGHRP and local water community. Emma lives in Alamosa with her husband John and their cats Lola and Gretchen.
Cindy Medina, Alamosa Riverkeeper, grew up among the oldest Hispanic communities in Colorado. Her grandmother Rosana gathered medicinal herbs in the San Juan Mountains. This familial connection to the natural world inspired her environmental work in the Alamosa River watershed where Colorado’s worst hard rock mining disaster occurred. Funded by a natural resource damage settlement, Cindy helped implement the first in-stream flow in the Alamosa River. These extended flows helped recover a fishery that was decimated by the release of cyanide and heavy metals from the Summitville mining disaster.
Cindy’s work was recognized by the Colorado Water Trust with the David Getches Flowing Waters Award for improving environmental water resources and recreational values in the Alamosa River through her efforts in collaboration, innovation and inspiration. She was also selected for the Headwaters Center’s River Heroes in Winer Park.