Water Policy Group founding member Anne Castle has been appointed the United States Commissioner of the Upper Colorado River Commission.
The Upper Colorado River Commission is an interstate water administrative agency established by action of five state legislatures and Congress. Its role is to ensure the appropriate allocation of water from the Colorado River to the Upper Division States of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico and to ensure compliance with the 1922 Colorado River Compact to the Lower Division States of Nevada, Arizona, and California and to the Republic of Mexico.
Anne will be joined on the commission by four state appointed representatives from the Upper Division states of the Colorado River Basin: Ms. Becky Mitchell, Commissioner for Colorado; Mr. Brandon Gebhart Commissioner for Wyoming; Mr. Gene Shawcroft, Commissioner for Utah; and Mr. Estevan Lopez, Commissioner for New Mexico.
“The Commission has very ably guided the Upper Basin states through many controversies and difficulties in the Colorado River Basin over the past 75 years,” said Castle. “I’m pleased to participate in its ongoing efforts to address the impacts of climate change in the basin and share the benefits the river provides in an equitable way.”
In a media release published by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (Colorado) Bennet says, “Anne’s decades of experience focusing on Western water and the Colorado River will be an incredible asset in support of their effort to face the unprecedented challenges plaguing the Colorado River Basin due to climate change and severe drought.”
Castle served as Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior from 2009 to 2014 where she spearheaded the Department’s WaterSMART program and oversaw the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey until 2014. From 1981 to 2009, Castle practiced water law at Denver, Colorado-based law firm Holland & Hart where she chaired the Management Committee and Natural Resources Department.
In addition to being a member of the Water Policy Group, Castle serves as a senior fellow at the University of Colorado’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, focusing on Western water issues including the Colorado River operational policy and the integration of water and land use planning. She is the immediate past president of the Colorado Water Trust and serves on boards or advisory committees for Colorado Legal Services, the Salazar Center for North American Conservation, Airborne Snow Observatories, Stanford University’s Water in the West program, and the Colorado River Water and Tribes Initiative, where she co-leads an initiative on universal access to clean and safe water in Tribal Communities.